Commissioned by dr edith farnsworth to be used as a weekend country retreat the house was conceived by mies as an envelope of glass and steel floating over the illinois fox river flood plain its spare interior an integrated living space pared down to the last detail was intended to enable a simpler cleaner and healthier lifestyle with detailed drawings and specially commissioned . Dr edith farnsworth was a wealthy and accomplished nephrologist in 1945 when she commissioned mies to design a rural weekend home 55 miles southwest of chicago on the fox river she gave the architect a free hand and a generous budget to create a significant modern home. The farnsworth house an icon of the architecture of the modernist movement is found situated in a natural setting very close to a river with one of its sides facing toward a forest which separates it from the current of the water and another facing a small meadow. Ludwig mies van der rohe s farnsworth house an extraordinary example of open conflict between the autonomy of the architectural language and the proposed housing model is one of the most emblematic residences of the architecture of the 20th century
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