“We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and the human being to a higher unity”.  -Mies van der Rohe
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Over the weekend I met up with one of my oldest friends; we met our freshman year of high school and it feels entirely impossible that was over 20 years ago! We planned to spend the afternoon and night at the Plano B&B, The Homestead, to get a little work done and to catch up. Despite us both living in the Chicago area we rarely get a chance to get together so it was so nice to spend a day with her and another hometown friend who now owns the historic Homestead, it’s rumored the now wine cellar of The Homestead was once part of the underground railroad. It was such a fun weekend of catching up about our lives now and reminiscing about our hometown and growing up there.
And what do you know? One very iconic piece of International Style Architecture is located right in Plano, Illinois…the Farnsworth House. This is probably one of Mies van der Rohe’s most famous buildings which was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth as her weekend retreat. The glass house was intended to feel like an extension of nature, Mies said: “We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and the human being to a higher unity”. When you view this house from the inside and out you can certainly feel the harmony between the two.
While I have a great appreciation for Mies’ design theory, its simplicity and desire to connect humans and nature, afterall I do have a series titled Nature & Man, I have a very difficult time finding a unique and interesting way to photograph any of his architecture. With the Farnsworth house I would definitely like to go back when the trees are fully in bloom, later in the day when the light is softer and when the house is not being renovated. But, for now, here’s the Farnsworth House from my point of view.
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If you’d like to see all the images I’ve made of various Mies van der Rohe buildings feel free to check out my Flickr set here.



0 Responses

  1. 20 years?!?! You know, in some ways it feels like we've known each other longer than that and in some ways I can't believe it has been that long. What a great weekend indeed! Cool photos too.

    1. Thanks Christie:) You're right, it seems like we've known each other forever, certainly more than half our lives at this point but it also seems like we were 14 only a couple years ago, lol!

  2. The Farnsworth House is worth a trip all by itself. I was there in the fall and found it small and surprisingly intimate. And when you think about it, his work downtown is similar. I've recently spent time around what I call the IBM building, between the Trump Tower and Marina Towers. In comparison with Trump Tower, the IBM building is almost petite and at street level is much more welcoming and pedestrian-friendly. Anyway, I'll be posting some of my Farnsworth photos over the next few days. Take a look or visit my website. Love your work.

    1. Hi Rich! Thanks for the note! I agree the Farnsworth House is definitely worth the visit and it's extremely similar to his work downtown Chicago, other than the most buildings downtown are black instead of the white. I can certainly see the appeal of the FH and how open and at one with nature you can feel being there. Nice work on your website, I see you were there in the fall...I'm hoping to get back there some fall myself as I think it would make for much more interesting images than I got over the weekend.

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