Examples of Iconic Modern Architecture
That Have Serious Flaws

(Thank God for museums!)


Farnsworth House, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Completed in 1951, the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, is considered to be a masterpiece not only of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s career but of modernist architecture. The design, meant to be a weekend retreat for Chicago-based doctor Edith Farnsworth, called for floor-to-ceiling glass panels framed by white-painted steel, emphasizing a connection with the landscape. This scheme, however, would prove problematic. Farnsworth infamously sued the architect over issues like frequent floods from a nearby stream, swarms of bugs attracted to what is essentially an illuminated glass box, rusty steel beams, and poor ventilation. Today, as a museum, the home has been fully restored and receives the proper upkeep...



Fallingwater, by Frank Lloyd Wright

The most famous of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes, Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, gained notoriety because of its cantilevered design inspired by Japanese architecture and its integration with the surrounding forest. Its structural issues, however, have been well documented—the distinctive cantilevered balconies had begun to dip over time due to insufficient reinforcement, and original owner Edgar Kaufmann Sr. had dubbed the home a “seven-bucket building” due to its leaky roof. The site, now a museum, has undergone extensive repairs over the years, and in 2002 the cantilever beams were permanently fixed...



Villa Savoye, by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret

Designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, Villa Savoye was built in 1931 as a country home for Pierre and Emily Savoye in Poissy, France, just outside of Paris. The white concrete structure was designed according to Corbusier’s Five Points, including ground-level columns, an open floor plan, horizontal windows, non-load-bearing façades, and a functional roof. That last point, however, led to leaks each autumn, and the home needed frequent repairs. After changing hands many times and surviving possible demolition, the home is now a museum...



The Glass House, by Philip Johnson 

Philip Johnson’s Glass House was completed in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut, as a home for the architect, with a glass-and-steel design influenced by the Farnsworth House. Now a museum and an icon of modernist architecture, the building was plagued by the familiar flat-roof issue: incessant leaks. In conversation with Frank Lloyd Wright, who called one of his own homes a “two-bucket house,” Johnson replied that his Glass House was a “four-bucket” home, with one in each corner...


Source: Architectural Digest, Eric Allen, Sept. 5, 2016. Read more...

3 comments:

joseph said...

Toutes belles choses faisant mon plaisir, j'ai apprécié ce panel , avec un faible pour la cascade!!

another country said...

Vous savez à quel point nous aimons FLW sur ce blog ! :)

JiEL said...

J'adore sa maison à la cascade depuis que je l'ai étudié dans mes cours d'histoire de l'art en 1970.. Pas hier...

Aussi, étudié les autres architectes célèbres car je voulais devenir architecte moi-même à l'adolescence. L'Expo 67 de Montréal (j'avais 16ans) m'avait ébloui avec les architectures audacieuses de ses pavillons.

En passant, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe fut un ami personnel d'une de mes amies qui est une grande dame de la préservation des édifices patrimoniaux de Montréal.