Hero Image
Scholarship of Design
Immersed in Aqueous Atmospheres:
Philip Johnson’s Open Glass
Lori Smithey
View Issue Articles

This article is an examination of Philip Johnson’s Crystal Cathedral (1980) as an architectural environment intersecting with the televisual entertainment industry. Although the Crystal Cathedral has been read as a reflective glass building that abandoned the mysticism of transparency to assert its object status, using Peter Sloterdijk’s theorization of immersion we may also understand the structure as an aqueous atmosphere into which one dips. Johnson’s church speaks to the dual desires of being embedded and of breaking free by retaining the possibility of traveling between immersive territories—a key ethical concern for atmospheres in an age of screen culture.

Continue Reading:

ACSA Members