It was sophomore year of design school when my professor assigned me my first precedent study, the Farnsworth house by Mies van der Rohe, located in Plano Illinois. For me, this was when my true understanding behind architecture and design began to blossom.
“God is in the details.”
– Mies van der Rohe
In 1945, Dr. Edith Farnsworth requested Ludwig Mies van der Rohe build a weekend retreat house. Mies had his mind set towards simplicity, something as we all know is very difficult to achieve in design. He accomplished this in such a brilliant way that the Farnsworth House is still something being looked up to in present-day modernization, remaining ahead of its time.
Mies’ design is thought out down to every last detail, which makes it just plain good design. He truly took into consideration all aspects — from the surrounding location, to the minimal limitation that played a huge part of the design, down to his selection in materials and furnishings. Attention to every last detail played a big part in making this piece successful.
The Farnsworth House is built near the Fox River, surrounded by thousands of trees, giving the house its independence. It was built next to a chosen specific tree that was incorporated into the design, helping influence the space planning inside the home. Mies simplified his design to three horizontal planes: platform, main floor and roof, unveiling a glass shoebox framed by white steel.
You can see through it as if it was part of nature, or as if it allows nature to flow through it.
The interior of the space demonstrates a whole new level of brilliance. The bathrooms’ wooden walls are the only walls in the entire interior of the house. His simple design working with one open space gave him the challenge to distinguish the dining room, living room, bedroom, kitchen and the bathroom apart from one another. He did so by creating a different sense of feel between the dining room, living room, bedroom and kitchen based on placement.
Mies chose to use travertine for the flooring, glass for his walls, and wood for the walls of the bathroom creating an exposed space to the outside. You can see through it as if it was part of nature, or as if it allows nature to flow through it. In a way, the trees play its walls. Looking in from the outside, it is hard tell the difference between each space because everything is nearly identical.
Each detail is strategically designed and this is something studioTROIKA emphasizes, from the overall concept to the last detail.
Every aspect of the house, right down to the details, creates a conversation with nature. Each detail is strategically designed and this is something studioTROIKA emphasizes, from the overall concept to the last detail.
This is what Mies concisely expressed when he quoted “god is in the details.”
–Contributed by Eleftheria Konstantinidis of studioTROIKA.