Mid Century Modern design began after World War II, and influenced every form of design at the time. The movement created various renowned pieces in industrial design, and in architecture, led to revolutionary elements and designs that are still in use today. Here is a look at 5 of the most iconic Mid-Century Modern houses in the US
1 Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe
Designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe for Dr. Edith Farnsworth, the Farnsworth house is one of the most well known houses in architecture. Located in a wooded area in Plano, Illinois, the house was intended to be a country retreat for the nephrologist. Constructed as a raised glass box with precast concrete slabs for flooring and ceiling and supported by steel columns, a third floating slab provides a platform between the house and the ground. The open plan interior design uses a wooden core to house the fireplace, kitchen, restroom and storage space, giving the bedroom and living areas uninterrupted views of nature. For more resources regarding the Farnsworth House and to schedule an in-person tour, please visit: farnsworthhouse.org.
The Miller House Geo Location
Mies Van Der Rohe: Farnsworth House
2 Miller House and Garden by Eero Saarinen
The Miller House is a 6,800 sq.ft home in Columbus, Indiana, designed for industrialist J. Irwin Miller and his wife Xenia Simmons Miller. The house was designed by architect Eero Saarinen, interior designer Alexander Girard, and landscape designer Dan Kiley, and is a prime example of long lasting design. The single story house for the family of seven used mid century modern features like stone and glass walls and a flat roof in combination with an open plan layout. A grid pattern of skylights, a cylindrical fireplace and a conversation pit in the centre of the house are some of the unique design elements in the house. For more resources regarding the Miller house and to schedule an in-person tour, please visit: columbus.in.us/miller-house-and-garden-tour.
Miller House & Garden Geo Location
3 Stahl House by Pierre Koenig
Also known as Case Study House #22, the Stahl house was designed by Pierre Koenig following the vision of Buck Stahl, for whom it was built. Situated in Los Angeles, California, the hillside house was a challenging project for the architect due to the location and the materials used. The L shaped house with a swimming pool uses glass and steel to maximise their views of Hollywood Hills. The interiors are separated into private and public areas with an open concept, with the spaces arranged in a way as to create open sight lines. The house gained widespread attention due to a photograph by Julius Shulman, showcasing two women sitting in the living room overlooking a night time Los Angeles. For more resources regarding the Stahl house and to schedule an in-person tour, please visit: stahlhouse.com
The Stahl House Geo Location
4 Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright
A part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, Fallingwater is one of the most well known works of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Purists of design will note that it was built before Mid-Century Modern officially started. However, we thought that the it had to be included in this brief selection given the influence it had on the MCM architectural style. Built as a weekend retreat for the Kauffman family, the house sits on a waterfall in the Bear Run Nature Reserve in Pennsylvania. Inspired by Japanese architecture concepts, the house is designed to be integrated with nature, with the sound of the falling water heard throughout the house. A boulder from the waterfall cuts into the house and forms part of the fireplace while the cantilevered terraces and use of natural materials bring the design closer to nature. For more resources regarding the Fallingwater house and to schedule an in-person tour, please visit: fallingwater.org
The Fallingwater House Geo Location
5 Eames House by Charles and Ray Eames
The Eames House (also referred to as Case Study House #8) was created by designers Charles and Ray Eames to function as their home and studio. The house situated in Los Angeles, California, is a designated National Historic Landmark due to its architecture. The building is designed as two blocks of steel and glass, the house and the studio, separated by a courtyard between them. The two-story boxes use different types and colors of glass and panelling to create a Mondrianesque facade, creating a play of light in the interiors. Wooden staircases and wood block floors create a warm space, with double height spaces and an open layout allowing light to slow through. Keeping with the Eameses’ love for nature, the house also looks onto a row of eucalyptus trees and the surrounding meadow. For more resources regarding the Eames house and to schedule an in-person tour, please visit: eamesfoundation.org/house/eames-house.
The Eames House Geo Location