From the time I boarded the plane to Chicago until I was walking down the path towards the house, I felt a nervous excitement about the task ahead! After all, I was going to photograph a major architectural icon by one of the masters who helped shape my own sense of aesthetics and order.
But, upon the first sight of the house and its floating horizontal whites, all nervousness evaporated. Excitement still lingered, but now conducive and serene. Though a simple structure, the architecture has such richness of character, effects, and charms, photographing it presented an interesting challenge.
The response to it seemed to have been guided by the qualities that struck me the most. First, the well-known Miesian details that here achieve a most spectacular level of refinement, whether through precision, proportion, or finish. Then the multitude of possibilities and spatial senses the design created. A single draw of the curtains, and we go from an outward sprawling motion to a soft, intimate feeling.
And, of course, the unique interaction of the house and surrounding nature. Discussing the photos with a friend, she remarked that the back and forth between lots of nature and the house seemed confusing. It was at that point I realized I had satisfactorily captured the architect's ambition for the design, for that "confusion" was exactly what was subjectively intended by blurring the divide between inside and outside.
Apparently a believer in, and a practitioner of "einer schöpferischen Pause", the German expression for a creative pause to reflect, with the Farnsworth House Mies van der Rohe translated that concept into built form, creating a home that invites us to stop and reflect. Are we in, or are we out? Are we on the ground, or floating? Do we need more, or do we need less? If one believes that nature itself carries all the answers, one could not find a better place to ponder these question. And so it was that the house was at once object and means to the task. The results being the proceeding photographs and moments of a special kind of inspiration that left a subtle, yet permanent mark on my work and ideas.
CLEMENCE, Paul. Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. Atglen, Schiffer Publishing, 2006, 94 p.
CONTENIDO DEL LIBRO
6 Pause by Paul Clemence
7 Foreword by Dirk Lohan
82 Photo Info
92 Mies van der Rohe