Farnsworth House

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

An in-depth account of an icon of 20th-century Modernist architecture.

Maritz Vandenberg


Price: USD$22.95


About the book

The only residence ever to be built by the pioneering architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in America, Farnsworth House (1948-51) exemplifies the central tenet both of the 'international style', by inverting the conventions of traditional architecture, and of Mies' own design philosophy.

Commissioned by Dr Edith Farnsworth to build a weekend retreat, Mies designed the house as an envelope of glass and steel floating over the Illinois Fox River flood plain. Its minimalist interior was intended for a simpler, cleaner, and healthier lifestyle. Before its actual completion, however, architect and client had fallen out over expenses and practical problems with the house. By the time Lord Palumbo bought it in 1972, Farnsworth had changed many of the interior elements dictated so precisely by Mies. Following a ruinous flood in 1996, the house has been faithfully reconstructed to its original conception.

Richly illustrated with detailed drawings and specially commissioned photography, this latest book in an award-winning series provides an in-depth account of this icon of twentieth century modernist architecture.

In The Press
'Vandenberg’s text, complemented by excellent photographs and drawings, provides the best concise account of the house yet published.' (Architects’ Journal, UK)
'As complete a coverage as any Mies fan would want.' (Architecture Today, UK)
'Not a glam coffee-table book but instead scholarship in brief … both a social history and a design primer on Mies … an architect’s architecture book.' (Bay Brown, Architecture US)

'Phaidon's Architecture in Detail series is an exemplary publishing effort, each attractive square-format volume offering thorough sets of drawings, fine photography and brief but intelligent texts.' (Interior Design)

'This series from Phaidon is proving to be a visually indulgent, useful addition to the field of architectural publishing.' (The Art Book)

'As always, Phaidon's Architecture in Detail series is a treat with lavish new colour pictures and excellent plans.' (RIBA Journal)

'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. These beautifully produced books combine historical and contemporary photographs, drawings and texts by sensitive critics.' (AIA Jury)


About the author(s)
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. Amongst other publications, he is Co-Author of the Phaidon title Twentieth-Century Museums I, New National Gallery, and has written three seminal design primers for architectural students and practitioners - Soft Canopies, Glass Canopies and Cable Nets.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Sydney Opera House
Gamble House
Villa Mairea


Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City. Read more
Contact us

Phaidon Offices

Contact the sales team

  Press offices

Submitting a book proposal

Careers at Phaidon

. .
. . . . . .