Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Architectural Masters... of Lego

What do three buildings, two architects and one of the most famous brands world wide have in common?
The Robie House (1910 Frank Lloyd Wright), Falling Water (1939 Frank Lloyd Wright), and the Farnsworth House (1951 Mies van der Rohe) have all been further imortalised in Lego models. This kind of thing totally thrills the geek inside of me, and one day I may even purchase them all and build them. Yup - I am a geek! Three of the most beautiful buildings of the century, and now in tiny little bricks you can put together yourself in some attempt to feel like you were a part of something awesome!

The first house is the Robie House by Frank Lloyd Wright. Completed in 1910 it is like many house by Wright in that it encompassed not only the house design but also many of its soft furnishings and architectural details for the interior (check out the magazine rack below). It is Wrights most renowned example of his Prairie Style - the first truely American architectural style. In 1926, after several owners had fallen upon hard times, the house and its contents were sold to the Chicago Theological Seminary. In a strange twist of fate, a student of Mies van der Rohe over heard that plans to demolish Robie house were going ahead and a storm of protest began. Clearly it was saved, and luckily so because it remains one of the leading examples of American design even today.

Falling Water. Another Frank Lloyd Wright, falling Water was completed in 1938 and graced the cover of Time a year later. Built over a 30 degree waterfall the house captured the imagination of a nation. It is now a national treasure. It appears to ease out of the landscape like the rock platforms it resides upon. The changing seasons are echoed in the choice of material and the vertical pillars of stacked stone. And I just love Wrights architectural drawings. Bliss. Oh the talent! Considering the difficulty of the house I am pleased with the Lego result - aren't you?

Farnsworth House. My favourite of the three. Farnsworth, like Falling Water echoes the seasons but is much more subtle in its design. Its platforms sit above the grassy plane, simple horizontal lines complimented by the two sets of steps and then simple vertical colums, enhanced and yet disguised by the vertical lines of the forest around it. I love the simple sketches and the snow picture in particular. If I was to buy any of the lego sets it would be this one.

Historian Maritz vandenburg offered the following on Farnsworth:

“Every physical element has been distilled to its irreducible essence. The interior is unprecedentedly transparent to the surrounding site, and also unprecedentedly uncluttered in itself. All of the paraphernalia of traditional living –rooms, walls, doors, interior trim, loose furniture, pictures on walls, even personal possessions – have been virtually abolished in a puritanical vision of simplified, transcendental existence. Mies had finally achieved a goal towards which he had been feeling his way for three decades."

Lover of Mies and Frank

1 comment:

My Secret Rooms said...

Wow, that's amazing, I had no idea Lego had been embarking on that journey!! Fantastic.

Interesting. I agree with you and love the same house, the most, as you do.
Although, I wouldn't mind living in any one of them...