Machado Silvetti’s Menokin Glass House Project was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal by architectural critic Michael Lewis, who describes the project as, “the most fiercely ambitious historic restoration project in America today.”
The Menokin Glass House project involves the stabilization, restoration and interpretation of a deteriorated 18th century plantation home and its grounds, representing what was irreparably lost on the building with glass and a semi-transparent liner. Working closely with preservation technology experts and the structural engineering team, Machado Silvetti developed a design strategy that adds three new layers which stabilize, enclose and re-materialize the crumbling structure. The interdependent relationship between the proposed Liner and the existing historic fabric, both structurally and visually allows for a highly efficient and innovative approach to restoration and rehabilitation.
Michael Lewis describes the unique means of experience the Glass House approach will offer to visitors and the broader historic preservation community: “Its glass planes can be read as solid wall or insubstantial air; look once and you see the house in all its volumetric absoluteness, look again and see the jagged ruin... Menokin, by taking into account what we now understand of the elasticity of visual perception, is our first important postmodern restoration. It is a cannonball flung between the feet of the historic preservation community.”