First of all we would like to thank everyone who donated to our first kickstarter earlier this year. The funds raised from that kickstarter, in addition to material and monetary donations from local businesses have led to much progress on our project.
The purpose of this kickstarter is to provide us with the necessary funds to finish our project. We knew the initial $10,000 would not be enough to complete the project, but that successful campaign has led to much progress. Please take a look at how we spent our money and the photos below to see what we have been up to. There are links to our generous donors below and in the photo captions.
A Brief History
On September 14, 2008 rain poured down on the Fox River valley in Plano, IL, causing the river to spill its banks and flood Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. The flood damaged the house and the furniture within, specifically a large wardrobe that was added to the house at the request of Mies’s client Edith Farnsworth. Unlike the other, smaller pieces of furniture in the house, the 12’ x 6’ x 2’ wardrobe is too large to be removed from the house in case of another flood. With the existing visitor center not able to accommodate this large piece of furniture a need exists for additional exhibition space to temporarily display this historic piece of furniture until a mitigation plan can be implemented that offers permanent protection for the house and its contents. Whitney French, director of the Farnsworth House sought the help of a design-build professor at Mies’s own Illinois Institute of Technology. Professor Frank Flury has led many successful design-build studios at IIT including the recent AIA award-winning Field Chapel in Boedigheim, Germany. Professor Flury presented the project to his students and over the past three semesters the team has designed an adaptable exhibition space that solves the Farnsworth House’s need to display the wardrobe and can also be used for events such as lectures and exhibitions.
Early concepts for the design were rectilinear and simple, drawing on the Farnsworth House for their inspiration. After many iterations, critiques from their professor, and advice from practicing architects and engineers, the team decided it would be more appropriate to design in the local vernacular, something more similar to the farm buildings that are scattered over the landscape. Since the new exhibition space is situated about a half-mile from the Farnsworth House, adjacent to the visitor center and visible from the road, a farm building seemed appropriate. Another problem the design team looked to solve was how to provide handicap accessibility to the Farnsworth House. In the end the studio designed a contemporary round barn with a new gently sloping path circling the “Barnsworth” on its way to the Farnsworth House. The design is simple and compact; the round floor plan creates a natural exhibition space. The interior walls are segmented while the exterior walls feature vertical board and batten siding to create a continuous curve. The walls are free from openings providing extensive display space while a simple and elegant lantern sits atop the space to allow the penetration of natural light.
A look at how we acquired our construction materials :
We would also like to thank:
Michael Glynn for his many contacts in the construction industry and help securing materials.
Hank Artlip for his HVAC expertise.
Brian Holdiman with Kendall county Building, Planning and Zoning
Brian and Russ, for their help raising our walls and installing the roof.
Jim Juers for his glazing expertise.
Chris Rockey, for help with all of our structural engineering.
Brett Balogh, for his IT and technical knowledge.
Berglund Construction, for kindly bringing us all of their construction "leftovers" (brooms, sawhorses, scaffolding) from their project at the Farnsworth House
Rick Nelson, for his donations of labor and recycled materials.
- (30 days)