Monday, May 02, 2011
Years ago we wandered into the Santa Monica Museum of Art and saw an extraordinary sight. In a cavernous gallery space stood a large-scale model of a modernist house. The blinds were down, the light spilled out and the sound of a good party came through loud and clear. It turned out to be by the Australian artist Callum Morton who regular readers will recognise as the maker of the giant rock in Christchurch that so weirdly anticipated the earthquakes there.
Morton's modernist house was modelled on a one-room house in Plano, 96 kilometres south west of Chicago, that had been designed by Mies van der Rohe for Dr Edith Farnsworth. Things did not go well on the project and it ended badly with Dr Farnsworth suing VDR and famously calling him a “medieval peasant.”
There is at least one other model of the Farnsworth House and it was exhibited at MoMA in 1947 before the house itself was even built (a very serious form of curatorial confidence).
Now you can buy the 546 six brick LEGO model of the Farnsworth House and make your own Callum Morton. Get started here and see a video of the LEGO version being built here.
Images: Top, Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Middle, Callum Morton’s International Style (time lapse sequence), 1999. Bottom, LEGO’s version