I wanted to visit this house not because I care that much about modern architecture (I do not), but because they’re making a movie about the building of this house starring Ralph Fiennes, and I do care about him.
At first Apple Maps tried directing me to Plano, TX, but I didn’t have that kind of time. On the other hand it took approximately 30 seconds to remember why I seldom enjoy house tours, which is because fully grown adults are pathologically incapable of not touching things they are explicitly and repeatedly told not to touch. Honestly, how do people think we can solve the climate crisis when we can’t go 15 minutes without leaning on the furniture.
It was something, though, a tiny jewel box tucked into the trees just south of I-88 with the Fox River running high and wild beside it. You can feel it back in the day, before they changed the road and lifted the bridge, what it must have been like out there alone. Open to the land on all sides, nothing but mosquitoes and weather. At the end a lady asked the tour guide if he thought Mies van der Rohe was a bad architect because he had failed to build Edith Farnsworth the house she wanted (i.e., occupationally friendly). I didn’t hear his answer but I figure if you ask a minimalist design visionary to build you a weekend house made of glass you should probably assume it won’t be cozy.