Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House

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  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Farnsworth House, Mies van der Rohe, wood scale model kit
  • Farnsworth House, Mies van der Rohe, wood scale model kit
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Farnsworth House, Model Landmarks
  • Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House
  • Farnsworth House, Manual, Directions
  • Farnsworth House, Step-by-step directions, Model Landmarks
  • Farnsworth House, visual directions, Model Landmarks

Midcentury Modern Masterpiece - Farnsworth House

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Designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945 and 1951, the Farnsworth House was commissioned by Edith Farnsworth, M.D a prominent Chicago nephrologist. It was intended as a place where she could relax and enjoy her hobbies - playing the violin, translating poetry, and enjoying nature.  In 1947, a model of the house was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, two years before construction even began on the Farnsworth House.

What Mies van der Rohe actually designed was an architectural masterpiece and an icon of the international style. The home is  listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

The Model

The signature sugar maple tree featured in the model, which has since died, is said to have inspired van der Rohe in selecting the precise site for the home.  In this model, the light Aspen wood of the house contrasts beautifully with the stunning tree sculpture made from American Cherry.  The attention to detail continues inside the house model, visible through clear acrylic windows. The fireplace in the center of the home is highly detailed, and doors and cabinets, also in cherry, are nicely modeled.

Beautifully boxed, the Farnsworth House kit comes with clear, easy to follow instructions and is the ideal gift for that architect friend, history buff, or even for you!

Atomic Ranch reviewed our Farnsworth House kit.
Read the full review.

If you'd rather enjoy the model without building it, you can purchase a professionally built (Pre-assembled). Go to our Finished Model page for more information.

Keep your model in pristine, dust-free condition with an acrylic case specifically designed for your model.  Go to our Acrylic Cases page for photos and ordering information.

Materials Aspen, American Cherry, MDF And Acrylic

— Scale: 1:150
— Recommended Age: 15 & Up
— Difficulty Level: Intermediate
— Assembly Time: 5 Hours
— Completed Dimensions: 10"L x 6"W x 4"H
— Some Tools Required (Not Included)
— Instructions Included

Model by Little Building Co.  Click here to learn more about the artist behind this fine model.

Photo courtesy of one of our customers,  Cody M.

Mies van der Rohe, 1886 - 1969

Born in Germany, Mies van der Rohe was influenced by numerous notable designers in and around Berlin, and as his work transitioned from neoclassical to avant-garde, he came to be known for his minimalist designs. as a pioneer of modernist architecture.

In Germany, he collaborated on the Barcelona Pavilion (the German Pavilion for the Barcelona World Exposition) and became the last director of the Dessau Bauhaus, remaining in that post until the Bauhaus was closed by Nazi forces in 1933.

In 1937, Mies van der Rohe immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where he became the head of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Among his influential designs in Chicago is the city’s Federal Center, completed several years after his death.

Even as he was recognized as a pioneer of modernist architecture and noted for many of his city skyscraper designs (such as the Seagram Building in New York), he aimed to “bring nature, houses, and human beings together in a higher unity.” — Mies van der Rohe

While van der Rohe’s goal with Farnsworth House was to deliver a design that would provide a comfortable nature retreat for his client, at times in the process he may have uttered the pithy quote which is attributed to him: “God is in the details.”

Mies van der Rohe was buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. The monument on his grave was designed by his grandson, Dick Lohan, who was also an architect.

More About Farnsworth House

The stunning design Mies van der Rohe situated on Farnsworth’s pristine property along the Fox River was intended to be a weekend cottage where Farnsworth (1903-1977) could escape from city life.

Cost overruns and philosophical disagreements between the client and the architect led to a lawsuit that ultimately resolved little, at least in differences in philosophy. In spite of her protracted dispute with van der Rohe, Edith Farnsworth did seem to enjoy the house, spending nearly every weekend there during her professional career.

After retiring - never quite satisfied with the home she commissioned – Farnsworth sold the house to Lord Peter Palumbro, a London developer and patron of the arts who owned several other homes by famous architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright.

Palumbro and his wife stayed in the home for part of each year until 2003, when they sold it through a Sotheby’s auction. Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust for Historic Preservation purchased the home and continue to operate it as a public museum.

After her death in 1977, Farnsworth’s ashes were scattered in Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery. 


"I think the Farnsworth is my favorite. The clean lines, and the tree...especially the tree. There's something I really love about this model." - Bruce R.

I am so happy with my model of Farnsworth house. - L. Meza

Find more customer feedback on our Testimonials page.

Easy to Build

Detailed, step-by-step instructions makes your kit a pleasure to construct.

Beautifully Accurate Models

We research and study the buildings to capture the true essence in our models.

Exquisite Wood Construction

We use the finest wood components (Aspen, American Cherry, Birch, others), and manufacture and inspect all components to the highest standards.