Finally made my way to the gorgeous Farnsworth House out in the woods, just about an hour outside of Chicago. We arrived on an abnormally crisp chilly day and had just missed the fall leaves last week (winter came a bit early). Our tour group was really small but I like it that way.
This is what I gathered from the tour: Designed by the famous architect Mies van der Rohe in 1945 for a single lonely gal named Dr. Edith Farnsworth. She had money. He wanted to create his art. She liked him. She feed his artistic dream. He left his family. They might have had something something going on. After 4yrs, he finally finishes the job along with a big ass bill. She was pissed. He was baffled about this artistic minimalism statement. She sued and lost. She blasted her frustration on other publications. Even with all its problems, she managed to live there for 20yrs. He never saw it till it was sold to the next owner.
My take: yes, its a beautiful minimalist piece of architecture no doubt about it. Its definitely looks like clean steel & glass structure until you look at it closely. Its just not practical for living. Its a human fish tank. On a side note, it sort of reminds me of a recent artist I saw in Berlin who chose to live in a glass box for 2wks. Voyeuristic passerbyers can see him sleep, shit, eat and whatever else he does with his days in a glass box. Reality show at its best. It’s literally a glass box on stilts, except it not high enough to avoid the menacing river sometimes. It gets flooded a few times. The house has 2 bathrooms and NO closets!! Imagine that? A special dresser (which is not longer in the house because the original was damaged and so the new one sits in its own silo house up and away from the river) was built but still…a girl needs closets! Its hella hot in the summers and hella cold in the winters. Not till the 2nd owner did the house get proper air conditioning. She must of been coocoo over him in the beginning to sign off on so much impracticalities to live in that house. All in all, this simple minimalist house is high maintenance, all for the sake of art. And for that, it attracts people from all over the worldto see this lil’ glass house in the woods.