Farnsworth House

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Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

They started planning with no basement but local code required one.

Yes, all glass. I understand being made oversees (not sure why).

The barn ... part of their winery.

Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

SDR wrote:I see you've gathered your thoughts -- or maybe retrieved them ? Is your thread under new marching orders ? I don't mean to pry . . .

SDR
Odd. Last night... it would let me type and go through the process but the post would show as empty. I even tried a different computer.

Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

Tim wrote:They started planning with no basement but local code required one.

Yes, all glass. I understand being made oversees (not sure why).

The barn ... part of their winery.
The basement... if done well could be fine. And make the house more livable. Of course, it's a big delta from what Mies likely would have done 😬

SDR
Posts: 19068
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Well . . . that bump-out at one corner is a potential disturbance to Miesian order -- but I'm sure there's a reason. Hubby or Wifey suddenly realized there wasn't a steam shower and Jacuzzi in the master suite . . . or some such ?

Whatever it is (the bulkhead entrance to the unplanned cellar, maybe ?) won't show in all the photos, anyway. Can't wait to see what's planned elsewhere: this is no cheap cabin in the woods . . . !

SDR

Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

I walked around the base of 860 and 880 North Lake Shore Drive today. Just stunning.

Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »


peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

860 880 are the most iconic and true to the original conception of any of the Chicago Mies apts. There are probably more architects per capita living in those two buildings than any other in Chicago. Shortly thereafter, he designed a pair of lesser known towers a few miles north at 330 340 W. Diversey off of Lincoln Park (Commonwealth Promenade).

https://goo.gl/images/78BeZC

http://miessociety.org/mies/projects/
“Mies worked with developer Herbert Greenwald on these two mid-rise apartment buildings after the success of their collaboration on 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments the year before. The original design and development plan accounted for four, but this was eventually scaled back. The project bears many similarities to the Esplanade Apartment Buildings, which were designed around the same time, and both of these new developments were heavily influenced by 860-880.�

Here’s the listing for our apartment at 330 from the time we bought it in 2011:

https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/330-W ... e/13369499

Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

Thanks for the info.

Wow. Great condo. And the views!

Of the other apartments that you noted, were the base areas and general entry areas handled as well, and as "handsomely", as 860/880?

Do we know why he started black (exterior) but migrated to white? I have a mild preference for black (exterior). But I could see a whole city of black buildings getting tedious.

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

The evolution of the Chicago apartment buildings:

860 880 N Lakeshore Dr.- black frame with clear glass and no air conditioning (hot, hot in summer, cold in winter!) Interior window frames were aluminum.
900 910 N Lakeshore Dr.- black frame with dark tinted glass and ac. Interior window frames black.
330 340 W Diversey- aluminum in and out, (not white, rather silver colored) with dark tinted glass and ac.
2400 N Lakeview- aluminum in and out with dark glass and ac.

In my opinion, all of the apartments and their lobby/bases were handled beautifully. 2400 is unique in that it is a single building, square in plan, so the lobby is more open than the others. 330 340 is very similar to 860 880. Unfortunately, when our building went condo in the 70s, a walled in swimming pool was added where the open park like lawn connecting the two buildings was located, messing with the repose and purity of the original design. I love having the pool and use it nearly every day in the summer, but the feeling of openness and connection of the two buildings was destroyed.

As for the aesthetics of black vs. silver, the black with crystal clear glass at 860 880 is hard to beat, isn't it? I have a theory that Mies preferred black as a contrast with the urban environment, and white, again acting as a contrast, for natural and verdant landscapes. Notice that all (only three!) of his American houses (located in natural surroundings) are white, the urban buildings being black (Seagrams, IIT, IBM, for example). But Commonwealth Promenade (330 340) and 2400 N Lakeview both adjoin verdant Lincoln Park. Maybe Mies used the near white aluminum as an "in between", since both locations are simultaneously natural and urban. Also aluminum was a new modern material option at the time, and he felt that it could explored.

Our buildings, Commonwealth Promenade, 330 340, circa 1950s, beautifully photographed, including some construction pics, by Hedrich Blessing, and other photos from slide magazine by Frank Scherschel. (Mies developer Herb Greenwald was set to move into the rooftop penthouse, but in 1959 tragically died in a plane crash):
https://m.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a ... 35409.5620

Tim
Posts: 324
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:52 pm

Post by Tim »

Thank you for the great info.

Just bought this book. Mies by Detlef Mertins https://amzn.to/2JCmYtF

A bit pricey but some of my better Wright books have given me great pleasure and are reference material.

peterm
Posts: 6196
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:27 am
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

Post by peterm »

Also check out ‘Mies Van der Rohe a Critical Biography’ by Franz Schulze.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10016
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Phaidon books are great. I have Unity Temple, Barnsdall, Fallingwater, Johnson Wax and Aalto's Villa Mairea. All have superb drawings at the back of map/plot plan, building plans, elevations, sections and details.

DavidC
Posts: 7566
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: Farnsworth House

Post by DavidC »


Tom
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: Farnsworth House

Post by Tom »

https://farnsworthhouse.org

See that propsed hydraulic lift for this house?
Elementary animated diagram at bottom of this article about the trial:
https://www.architectmagazine.com/desig ... =AN_050820

DavidC
Posts: 7566
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Re: Farnsworth House

Post by DavidC »


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