My Farnsworth

Exterior, looking northwest
South exterior, facing northwest.

The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51. It is a one-room weekend retreat located in what was once a rural setting, now the city of Plano, about 89 kilometres southwest of Chicago, Illinois. The House is considered to be a National Historic Landmark in the US.

I first was introduced to the Farnsworth House whilst taking an architectural survey course at university. Yes, I dabbled with the idea of becoming one. I can still remember our lecturer waxing poetic about its “essentialism”. It was a concept I found instantly appealing, but awfully challenging to put into practice.

Exterior, view from the West
North exterior. Lighthouse not included.

It was purely coincidental that Fanatik  just released this stunning version of the Farnsworth House at the same time that I was looking for a change. At only 25 land impact, the minute I saw this House, I knew I’d love decorating it and living here.

Raised on stilts to sit comfortably above the flood waters of the Fox River, Mies chose a basic steel and glass construction to build what many consider to be an iconic masterpiece of 20th Century residential architecture. My Farnsworth hovers over the water of the sim hosting the Basilique which is great for the daily commute!

The Porch
The west side of the House, the porch is great for watching sunsets. I’d like to add more green to this area, but for now I have a little Eames LaChaise from HANDVerk to sit on whilst I plan the exterior. The little Baobab tree is Mudhoney.

The house was original commissioned by a prominent nephrologist named Dr. Edith Farnsworth, as a place where she could engage in her hobbies: playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature. I think that’s just perfect, because I feel that this is just the place to engage in what I like to do in world when I’m alone, and sometimes with friends.

The Living Room
As in the original, the living area is decorated with two Barcelona Chairs (also originally designed by Mies) from Abiss. The white Barcelona lounger (also found in the original House) is from HANDVerk. The clock, ceramics, shelving and tree sculpture are from One Grid. The Rug is Fanatik. The spotlights and Arc lamp are from Apple Fall.

Devoid of privacy (although the curtains do close), and no doubt terribly costly to heat and keep cool, the Farnsworth House is not a structure that lives up to the common societal ideals of inhabitable architecture. In Mies’ words “the essentials for living are floor and roof. Everything else is proportion and nature. Whether the house pleases or not is inconsequential.” Mies wasn’t interested in winning popularity contests and he was definitely a “no-frills” kind of guy.

The reading chair, the view towards the front
The reading chair is an animal-print chaise from Abiss. The lamp is from One Grid. The sideboard is from Apple Fall. The little vintage radio that sits upon it is from Post.

While surely not to everyone’s tastes, this house pleases me immensely. I have aimed to remain faithful to the original decor now viewable at the House in Plano, with several twists and personal touches, and dare I say it… improvements.

The Dining Area
The dining area features a chandelier is from Mudhoney. The chairs are from HANDVerk. The table is from One Grid.

The house was designed for its inhabitants to experience rural silence, and to simply observe the changes of nature that present themselves by the passing of the seasons and days. Mies stated: “If you view nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it gains a more profound significance than if viewed from the outside. That way more is said about nature—it becomes part of a larger whole.”

The Kitchen corridor
The Kitchen corridor is lit by industrial lamps from Apple Fall. The art on the near wall is Whiskey Monday.

The house itself has no internal rooms. Instead, spaces are made by two wooden blocks in the centre of the house, creating a natural flow around, inside, and between the spaces that are multifunctional. In the original house, the larger block contains a washroom, closed shelving in the living room space and kitchen cabinetry on the opposite side; the smaller block is a wardrobe, which has been removed from the original installation several years ago and put in an architectural museum.

Bedroom space
The Bedroom space is dominated by a chandelier from Apple Fall. The bibliophile bed is Floor Plan. The chair is One Grid. The floor lamp is HANDVerk. The pillows are Apple Fall.

I aimed to decorate the House entirely with mesh fittings and furnishings, and managed to do so with only a few exceptions. Not only is it remarkably low land impact, it’s so easily modifiable, and also great to look at. Amazingly, the house and its contents have a land impact of less than 270 which would easily leave one ample room to landscape on a standard 1/16th parcel.

The Creative space
The Creative space features red Barcelona ottomans from Abiss. The desk and cork boards are What Next. The heart-shaped polaroid wall that I’m personalising with my own photographs is from Apple Fall. The art sculpture is by Harvey Crabsticks. The birdcage is LISP.

This is not the first house I’ve decorated in Second Life, but it is without my favourite result to date. I’ve read that we create the spaces that show our states of mind. A messy office betrays a messy head; a neat and tidy bedroom reflects a person that places order and clarity as a priority.

Another view of the Reading area
Another view of the Reading area

For me, this house is a reflection of where I want my mind to be: clear, uncluttered, fluid, ordered and functional.

9 thoughts on “My Farnsworth

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