clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Could Floodwaters Lead to a Farnsworth House Relocation?

New, 3 comments

Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House was designed, in the words of the famous Modernist, to "bring nature, houses, and human beings together into a higher unity." Part of that plan included suspending the Plano, Illinois, residence on a series of steel columns to lift it above floodwaters that occasionally flow from the nearby Fox River. But as this week's storms have shown, floods are getting increasingly more serious as increased suburban development pushes more water into the river. The potential for damage to the home has led its owner, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to examine a plan to move the home to another part of the property that's less flood prone, according to the Tribune. The suggestion of relocating the iconic, site-specific design has led to some complaints within the architecture community. It's one of a few options being considered, all of which have their pros and cons.

The Trust has previously suggested other solutions to helping preserve the home, including installing a $3 million system of hydraulic jacks underneath the structure and placing the home atop a nine-foot mound at its current location. Every options has its detractors; Chicago architect and Mies' grandson, Dirk Lohan, says that moving the building "would be ridiculous." A committee that's advising the trust overseeing the home meets today to discuss; hopefully a scheme that doesn't sacrifice the homes unique character can be found.


Trust considers moving Mies van der Rohe home on the Fox River [Chicago Tribune]
Now Mies' Farnsworth House Can Turn Into a Tron Setpiece [Curbed]
Complete Farnsworth House coverage [Curbed]