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The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, designed by Philip Johnson .
The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith
Widely recognized as an iconic masterpiece of International
Style of architecture.
In September 2008, the house was flooded by rains from the
remnants of Hurricane Ike.
The materials of his buildings, industrial manufactured products
like mill-formed steel and plate glass
The Farnsworth House addresses basic issues about the
relationship between the individual and his society.
Free and open space within a minimal framework, using
expressed structural columns.
The basic structure of Farnsworth House consists of eight
wide-flange steel stanchions.
Farnsworth House is probably the most complete and
refined statement of glass-and-steel architecture.
Steel frame – allowed open plan interiors.
All the building parts are factory made.
Used heavy steel sections.
Laminated glass plates
Mies used conventional bolted connections in the less
visible parts of his structures, but in exposed positions
he wished his elegant steel members to be displayed
Farnsworth House are rigorously restricted to
travertine (floors), wood (primavera for the core walls,
teak for the wardrobe) and plaster (ceilings).
Steel Frame structure
High strength/weight ratio.
Properly designed steel structures can have
high ductility, which is an important
characteristic for resisting shock loading
such as blasts or earthquakes.
Well-defined stress level.
Steel structures can be erected quite rapidly.
Ease of construction.
Allows natural light to come in .
Moderate resistance to floods caused by rain.
Keeps the inhabitants in touch with nature (Integration with
The house is elevated 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) above a flood plain
by eight wide flange steel columns.
Steel columns attached to the sides of the floor and ceiling slabs.
The slabs' ends extend beyond the column supports, creating
A third floating slab, an attached terrace acts as a transition
between the living area and the ground.
The house is accessed by two sets of wide steps connecting
ground to terrace and then to porch.
He applied the concept of an unobstructed space that is
flexible for use by people.
The interior appears to be a single open room.
An icon of the architecture of the Modern Movement.
The building is organized in two rectangular platforms.
The first, accessed through four linear steps, has no walls or
a roof and acts as a terrace, being supported above the
ground by four steel pillars.
Desire for transparency.
On the other hand, the separation of the house from
the land on which it sits by pillars has been associated
with an idea of purity, in this very traditional Japanese
Farnsworth House is the ultimate expression of minimalism.
The minimum elements include 8 columns, separated by a
distance of 6.60 meters, supporting the two slabs that form the
floor and ceiling.
The interior, with a clear height of 2.85 meters, is only the
fragmented into a block of sanitary services that contains the
The 2.75 meter terrace slab, supported by only 4 columns and
leading to the entrance helps to emphasize the immateriality of
The floor is set in two layers,
between which is the plumbing
and drainage system.
The domestic plumbing
elements and also the rainwater
run-off spill into a central
The roof, while mostly flat, is
slightly inclined towards the
center to force water to run
toward the edges.
The glass acts as if it’s a wall covering the distance
from floor to ceiling; defeating the traditional design of
Two simple slabs made of steel make up for the floor
and roof of the building.
It is elevated from the ground by about 1.6 meters.
This unorthodox design of the house (the fact that it is
elevated above the ground) show the foundation the
house stands upon, the pile like foundations can be
seen with the naked eye.
A terrace is also apparent in the design making up as
engineers would call a cantilever.