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Farnsworth House: Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe: Architecture in Detail Hardcover – June 1, 2003
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'The Architecture in Detail series is without question one of the most beautifully illustrated and well-documented collections of monographs on individual buildings produced anywhere in the world.'
About the Author
Maritz Vandenberg was the founding Publisher of Architecture and Technology Press and has worked as Technical Editor on the Architects' Journal and as Editorial Director of Architectural Press Books. Among other publications he is a co-author of the Phaidon title Twentieth-Century Museums I: New National Gallery, and has written three design primers for architectural students and practitioners - Soft Canopies, Glass Canopies and Cable Nets. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The bulk of the book is divided into 3 parts: an essay by Maritz Vandenberg, a section of photographs and a drawing section. The essay gives an overview of Mie's career, the history of this house and provides a detailed assessment of the houses strengths and weaknesses. Also discussed are its restoration and the continuing threat posed by flooding of the adjacent Fox River. Interspersed in this section are photos and line drawings, a very nice touch being the side-by-side presentation of the floor plans of several of Mie's most important residential designs. The photographic section, entirely in color, contains a reasonably generous number of post-restoration photos. These show it outfitted with appropriate Mie's designed furniture, a must in this type of architecture. A concluding drawing section contains plans, elevations, building sections and numerous details.
A word or two on the negatives which prevent me giving a 5 star rating. Vandenberg identifies Farnsworth as Mie's only built house in America, as well as his last built residence. Neither statement is true. This is especially puzzling as an appendix in this very book notes both the McCormick and Greenwald Houses postdate Farnsworth. Granted this house certainly stands at the zenith of Mie's residential efforts, but those that followed should, if only for the sake of historical accuracy, not be cast into the architectural wilderness. Next, while the photos are very well done the presentation sometimes fails us. Too often the 'artistic' composition of the page is given precedence over the information to be conveyed by the photo itself. Simply put, too much white space when the photos could have been printed larger. A couple of more shots of the interior, giving it really total coverage, also would have been nice.
These quibbles aside, this book delivers a lot for a modest price.