• Farnsworth House
  • Farnsworth House: layout


Farnsworth HouseTM was designed and constructed between 1945 and 1951 as a one-room weekend retreat, located in a once-rural setting, 89 km(55 miles) southwest of Chicago on a 240,000 m2(60-acre) estate adjoining the Fox River, in the city of Plano, Illinois.

Mies van der Rohe conceived Farnsworth HouseTM as a structure that was both independent of and intertwined with the nature around it. The simple elongated cubic form of the house runs parallel to the flow of the river and is placed in the cooling shadow of a large and majestic black maple tree.

The house is elevated 1.60 m (5.3 ft.) above the flood plain by eight steel columns, which are attached to the sides of the floor and ceiling slabs. Theend of the slabs extend beyond the column supports, creating cantilevers. The house seems to float weightlessly above the ground it occupies.

The interior appears to be one large room filled with freestanding elements. The space flows around two wood blocks called “cores”. The fireplace-kitchen core appears almost as a separate house nestling within the larger glass house. The materials used are quietly luxurious – travertine floors, primavera paneling and silk curtains – and the detailing minimal and meticulous.