Hydraulic Stilts Considered to Protect Farnsworth House

’s . Image © Greg Robbins

In recent years, Mies van der Rohe‘s famous glass-walled Farnsworth House has been under a grave threat from flooding by the Fox River which runs right past it. In the past 18 years, the house has been flooded three times, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, and now its owners the National Trust for Historic Preservation are considering plans for a permanent solution – among which is a plan to install hydraulic stilts which would lift the entire house out of harm’s way in the event of a flood.

Read more about the plans after the break

Barnsworth Exhibition Center by IIT Design Build Studio

© IIT Design Build Studio

The Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe’s is one the most iconic modern residences in the United States. Situated in Plano, , near the Fox River, its location is nothing short of picturesque. However, what may not be known is that due to its location, it has been subject to the wrath of the local river. Specifically, on September 14, 2008 a torrential rain storm caused the Fox River to overflow and flood the house, resulting in extensive damage to the interior, furniture, and the large wardrobe of Edith Farnsworth. The IIT Design Build Studio led by Professor Frank Flury was sought out by Farnsworth House director Whitney French to distill a solution to house the 12’ x 6’ x 2’ wardrobe that was unable to be accommodated in the visitor center. More details after the break.

New Neighbor for Farnsworth House

The in Chicago via Metropolis

Since the 1950s, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House has rested peacefully in a cornfield in , Illinois.  Now, the house will be getting a new neighbor – VirginiaTech’s winning Solar Decathlon residence, Lumenhaus (be sure to check out our previous coverage of the house here). As the name suggests, the residence focuses on maximizing the exposure to natural light (Lumen meaning power of light), and in terms of aesthetics, the house also pays homage to the BauHaus movement.

More about the Lumenhaus after the break.

National Trust for Historic Preservation new program will benefit two modernist icons

The Farnsworth House / Mies van der Rohe

Two icons of Modernism—the Farnsworth House in Plano, Ill., and ’s Glass House in New Canaan, Conn.—will be the beneficiaries of a newly launched funding initiative by the National Trust for Historic Preservation that reflects the dialogue between the two properties. Modern Views: A Project to Benefit Farnsworth House and the Glass House has a funding goal of $1 million, which will go to the restoration of the Brick House at the and to restoration, maintenance, and operations at Farnsworth House.

The January 2010 addition of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House to the National Trust’s portfolio of historic sites allows closer collaborative efforts between the two properties, one of which is the Modern Views initiative.

Unfolding over the next several months, Modern Views will showcase drawings, models, and other works of art created by 100 of the world’s most respected and famed architects, designers, and artists, along with statements from each about how their work is inspired by these two historic houses.

Featured architects, artists, and designers include: David Adjaye, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Jeanne Gang, Leon Krier, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Eric Owen Moss, Ron Radziner, Pugh + Scarpa, Annabelle Selldorf, Annie Leibovitz, Julius Shulman (1910-2009) and Juergen Nogai, Karim Rashid, Constantin Boym, and many others. Click here for the complete list.

Two exhibitions of the donated works will be held in Chicago and New York as part of the fundraising program, and each event will include a screening of a new film by Sarah Morris inspired by the two houses. The first exhibition will be held on Sept. 16 in Chicago at The Arts Club; the second will be held Oct. 6 at Sotheby’s in New York. An online exhibition hosted by Sotheby’s, the project’s underwriter, will go live in September at www.sothebys.com/modernviews.

Written by Stephani Miller for Residential Architect.

The Glass House, an architectural play

Two of the most iconic projects from the modern movement built in the US take part in a play by June Finfer, directed by Evan Bergman. The design and building of ’s and Philip Johnson’s Glass House is the background for the penetrating dramatic plot that entwines the epic conflict between artist and patron. The Glass House explores the classic struggle of ambition, love and betrayal.

Post Performance Talks by Paul Goldberger (Architectural Critic and Author), Barry Bergdoll (MoMA), Annabelle Selldorf (Architect), Christy MacLear (Executive Director of Philip Johnson Glass House), Dietrich Neumann (Architectural Educator), Whitney French (Executive Director of Farnsworth House) and Barry Wood (Architect).

Dates and more info after the break.