THE HOUSE AND THE OTHER

Seminar 2015

 

Analysing design elements that create a relationship between

»closeness« and »distance«

"Mies builds infinity"

The glass walls of the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe offer unhindered views by daylight, though once dark they simulate a completely different openness, one in the opposite direction – one within. By merely simulating complete openness, the built room is reflected on the glass surfaces. If you look further, the mirrored image of the opposite glass surface is reflected even further, to infinity. What was once considered open and free becomes a total reversal of itself, an introverted space with an infinite reach. This outstanding achievement of creating a spatial relationship to infinity is a gesture that almost takes on sublime qualities.

"... the sublime describes something perceptible, whose essential characteristic is an impression of greatness, or even holiness, which goes beyond ordinary beauty. The sublime is therefore always associated with the feeling of inaccessibility and immensity. It triggers astonishment, which is associated with reverence and/or horror."

 

This only underlines the understanding and feeling Mies had for the delicate and extraordinary.