FARNSWORTH RESIDENCE

Brief History of the Farnsworth residence

Farnsworth is a residence that was designed and constructed from 1946 to 1951. It is considered a paradigm of worldwide fashion structure in the USA. The Farnsworth residence was built for Dr. Edith Farnsworth as a weekend retreat, as a platonic perfection of order gently positioned in spontaneous nature in Plano, Illinois. The house’s shape includes precast concrete floor and roof slabs supported through a carefully crafted metal skeleton frame of beams, girders and columns. The facade is fabricated from unmarried panes of glass spanning from ground to ceiling, mounted to the structural system by means of metal mullions, attaining Mies‘ idea of a robust dating among the house and nature. The building is heated by using radiant coils set within the concrete floor; herbal cross air flow and the colour of nearby timber offer minimal cooling[1].

This one storied house residence includes 8 I-shaped metallic columns that support the roof and floor frameworks, and consequently are both structural and expressive. In between those columns are floor-to-ceiling windows across the complete residence, exposing the rooms to the woods around it. The above detailed description of the Farnsworth Residence drew scholarly arguments on the simplicity and complexity of the subject, Architecture.

Robert Venturi Argument

Ventrui focuses on embracing contradiction and complexity by recognizing the various paradoxes present in architecture and the society that architecture accommodates.  A visually complex, constructed, environment is necessary and can exist between regimented order and barren architectural forms. Venturi recognizes the work of Mies van der Rohe in his statuesque pavilions that are recognizable by their simplicity (Ostwald & Vaughan, 2016, 97). Venturi is hesitant of the oversimplification of architecture especially when he elaborates on Mies’ infamous statement on modernism in “Less is more,” to “Less is a bore” because the complex behavior of people and how they move through their environment is not reflective to one unified, simplified form. Although, oversimplified architecture is able to make selective decisions and create a building that is successful in use and memorable in appearance, it is bland for a program of living. The program of living is referring to how people congregate differently in architecture because people are varied so they respond to an environment that accommodates for this instinct that responds to change and chaos[2]. Such features of architectural nakedness helps the architect to make evident judgments on what works for the building but this oversimplification is also the down fall for the architecture because it ignores the desire for visual stimulation that is achieved through variety.

Marcel Breuer Argument

In his original text “Where Do We Stand?” Marcel discusses the architecture of the Modernist movement. He emphasizes his belief and the belief of many of his contemporaries that architecture should focus on the structural principles and practical uses of buildings. The reflective text, a portion of Robert Venturi’s “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture,” contradicts Breuer’s stance. Venturi says that complexity, ambiguity and even contradiction are key elements of architecture. “On Simplicity” by Vittorio Gregotti is the philosophical text. Gregotti insists that that designing a “simple” building is anything but simple, and that a building is not simple because its parts are inherently geometrically basic but because all of those parts display their necessity.

Vittorio Gregotti Argument (complexity)

Vittorio Gregotti proposed that the marking of ground, rather than the primitive hur, is the primordial tectonic act. In his 1983 address to the New York Architectural League, Gregorti stated, “The worst enemy of modern architecture is the idea of space considered solely in
terms of its economic and technical exigencies indifferent to the idea of the site[3].
The built environment that surrounds us is, we believe, the physical representation of
its history, and the way in which it has accumulated different levels of meaning to form
the specific quality of the site, not just for what it appears to be, in perceptual terms,
but for what it is in structural terms”.

Geography is the description of how the signs of history have become forms, therefore
the architectural project is charged with the task of revealing the essence of the geo-
environmental Context through the transformation of form. The environment is there-
fore not a system in which to dissolve architecture. On the contrary, it is the most
important material from which to develop the project.
Indeed, through the concept of the site and the principle of settlement, the environment
becomes the essence of architectural production. The author of this work is critical and creative in the manner of factual presentation. In fact the work is a true reflection of the dynamism that characterizes modern technology and society.

My project (Construction of a super-highway)

I tend to borrow the theory of simplicity because when viewed at a close range, the constructed highway will not only ease the traffic jam but even the local road user will appreciate its simplicity of the one way traffic flow (Case, et al., 2014, 116). Simplicity, more often than not, consists of two opposing things – security or reliability, which anchors the sense of safety thereby justifying the common sense aspect of simplicity and passion, risk and newness, which anchors the sense of movement thereby justifying the smartness aspect of simplicity. The two are opposed. Typically, if you have one, you can’t have the other, thus it limits the double stand roles.

[1] (1981). Metropolitan home. Des Moines, IA, Meredith Corp.

[2] TIMMS, P. (2004). What’s wrong with contemporary art? Sydney, University of New South Wales Press.

[3] (1993). Communication arts. Palo Alto, Calif, Coyne & Blanchard].

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