Monday, February 21, 2011

Visiting the Farnsworth

By Jessica Grafton

My junior year as an interior design student, we took a fieldtrip to Chicago and up to Milwaukee. One of my favorite parts of the trip was our stop in Plano, IL to see the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe.

Once we arrived on the property, we had a bit of a walk to the site of the house itself, and I remember it was the perfect day for it. The sun was shining beautifully through the trees, and our guide told us how lucky we were, because very recently, the river had flooded and we would’ve had to have taken a canoe to get to the site of the house. Apparently the Farnsworth has flooded quite a few times over the years.

The tour was really great, along with walking the grounds we were permitted to go inside. To get a sense of scale for a house that is so well known in the world of architecture, was probably the most beneficial part of the trip. As most of you know, the house is all glass exterior walls with a central core that houses the bathroom and kitchen functions. Everything else is exposed including the bedroom, unless the floor- to-ceiling curtains are drawn.

I really admire such a minimalist design; no clutter or unnecessary spaces. It’s remarkable to imagine living in such a house. It was definitely worth the stop we made, and really gave me a better perspective on the actual size and scale of the Farnsworth. I recommend going to see it in person.

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