House Farnsworth

19 August 2020

Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House is one of the most studied buildings from the 20th century and is a wonderful example of Van der Rohe’s style and philosophy. This house in Illinois, USA, was recently restored and opened after lockdown with an exhibition on the talented, original owner of the house, Edith Farnsworth, who also commissioned the house.

Farnsworth House was designed in the International Style and it was completed in 1951. It remains one of the most studied buildings from the 20th century.

Copyright William Zbaren

There is a link with Stellenbosch in this story. Mies van der Rohe was a well-established architect in Germany, but left before World War Two to escape Hitler’s persecution of Jews. He emigrated to the USA where he continued to have a renowned career in architecture. Van der Rohe’s senior assistant at his practice in Germany was Pius Pahl. Pahl relocated to Stellenbosch and continued to have a significant impact on architecture in Stellenbosch and the Western Cape.

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