Unique Design: The Renowned Farnsworth House by Mies Van der Rohe

Meet the Farnsworth House: An icon of the mid-century modern architecture.

Today we are going to talk about a modern icon of the Modernist architecture: The Farnsworth House. Designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1945 and constructed in 1951 with the purpose of being a weekend retreat, the Farnsworth House is a platonic perfection of order gently placed in spontaneous nature in Plano, Illinois.


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A perfect example of what mid-century architecture and design represent, this renowned house located in Plano, Illinois is available for visiting all year round. We could tell you how much it is worth it… but we decided to show you!

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The Farnsworth House is a vital part of American iconography, an exemplary representation of both the International Style of architecture as well as the modern movement’s desire to juxtapose the sleek, streamline design of modern structure with the organic environment of the surrounding nature.

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Stepping inside this iconic house, you can immediately feel the mid-century atmosphere that reigns. The minimalist and uncomplicated furniture design used are the reflections of what Mies Van der Rohe was trying to achieve.

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The Farnsworth House is almost puritanical in its construction with simplified living quarters; it was the intent of Mies for the house to lack walls, trim, or personal possessions.

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The interiors are spare, with a central box of marine-grade ply and Primavera wood concealing a closet and bathroom; a narrow kitchen, bedroom, and living space surround it.

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The structure of the Farnsworth House is made of eight L-shaped steel columns to support roof and floor frameworks and was designed by the architect for maximum lightness. The contrast between the highly finished, white painted steel and the surroundings creates a floating effect.

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The house was designed for the successful Chicago doctor Edith Farnsworth that, despite the early great enthusiasm, became bitterly disappointed with the result due to its abstract minimalism. The house was surprisingly difficult to live with.

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Nevertheless, the Farnsworth House stands out as one of Mies’ most remarkable buildings for its combined simplicity, conceptual elegance, and beauty.

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Editor’s Choice

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Coleman is the ideal mid-century modern floor light to be placed next to any 1950 modern furniture piece, like your industrial office couch or desk. The 1 light adjustable head floor lamp with matte black and matte white accents has a simplistic and sleek design featuring a black textile cord and an adaptable shade. With a classic shape making it suitable for not only Scandinavian style homes, this brass floor lamp will also fit perfectly in every single home design style.

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Get more ideas for your projects and find functional, stylish and sizable lighting and furniture choices. Make sure to download our ‘Interior Design Tips for a Well-Lit Home eBook!


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