The Solar HouseModern Exterior
House of Tomorrow by Fred Keck at the Century of Progress Exposition, Chicago, 1933. Photograph by Hedrich-Blessing. Author’s collection
From "The Solar House" by Anthony Denzer, Rizzoli, 2013, courtesy of Rizzoli.
What Houzz contributors are saying:
The Keck brothers weren't really known for the solar houses they developed in the 1940s (they were omitted from Sigfried Giedion's influential Space, Time and Architecture even though he toured their houses). Instead it was a couple of houses Fred Keck designed for the 1933 Century of Progress fair in Chicago, both glass houses rather than solar. The House of Tomorrow (photo) and Crystal House both featured all-glass exterior walls with blinds and curtains, respectively, for shading.The houses were extremely popular, but their intent and appeal were formal rather than functional; they pointed to an alternative future through the use of glass. But Keck did realize the benefits of solar heating, which led him to develop houses in the next decade with more selective glazing. With so much single-pane glass, the House of Tomorrow would overheat during the day and lose heat at night, something that did not discourage Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson from creating inefficient glass houses almost 20 years later.