The Grey House: A Parametric Hybrid in Comparative Architecture
An Exhibition Proposal for the 2017 Graham Foundation Grant For Individuals
The Grey House is a project rooted in comparative architecture that focuses on the connection between two of the most iconic modern houses of the International Style: Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. Centered around an analysis of the two houses, the project aims to illuminate their similarities and differences through a series of parametric hybrids derived from the geometric continuum between them. The resulting Grey House is an answer to the question of what a project would be that is fifty percent Glass House and fifty percent Farnsworth House. The exhibition aims to focus not only on the nuances of the two projects themselves and the architects' relationship, but it also presents the opportunity to open a larger dialogue on comparative architecture, contemporary modes of production, and questions of authorship and ownership in the field today. The exhibition will be comprised of a series of models, animations, renderings, drawings, historical research, in addition to public programming.
Overall Transition Diagram Transition from the Glass House to the Farnsworth House
Library of Hybrids A hybrid can be interpolated at any point along the geometric continuum between the two houses, making it possible to derive a house, for example, that is thirty-three percent Glass House and sixty-six percent Farnsworth House. The Grey House itself lies at the precise midpoint between the two.
The Glass House
Designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1949. Located in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Grey House
Parametrically derived as a hybrid that is fifty percent Glass House and fifty percent Farnsworth House.
The Farnsworth House
Designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe beginning in 1945 and completed in 1951. Located in Plano, Illinois.
Wall Section Transition Detail Transition between the Glass House and the Farnsworth House
Preliminary Exhibition Scope, Budget, and Timeline
A preliminary exhibition scope is outlined below which will be discussed further in collaboration with the hosting venue. The Production and Presentation Grant for exhibitions does not exceed $20,000 and The Graham Foundation is not always able to award the full amount. The exhibition can take place within two years of the grant being awarded in 2017.
A series of 100 small 3d printed models will be produced representing the gradient transition from the Glass House to the Farnsworth House. Three larger 3d printed models will be produced of the Glass House, Grey House, and Farnsworth House. Additional 3d printed models such as wall sections and building elements will be considered.
Animations will be produced illustrating the gradient transition from the Glass House to the Farnsworth House including the overall building in addition to wall sections and building elements. The animations will be displayed on a screen or with a video projector.
Photographic 3d renderings will be produced of the Grey House featuring a number of exterior and interior views focusing on its spatial and material qualities. The renderings of the Grey House will be presented alongside photographs of the Glass House and the Farnsworth House.
A series of analytical drawings will be produced focusing on the comparison of building elements between the Glass House, Grey House, and Farnsworth House such as steel columns, core configurations, and glass facades. These drawings will be produced by a CNC device with ink on paper.
The history of the complex relationship between both Philip Johnson and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe as well the Glass House and the Farnsworth House specially will be presented.
Several 100 page perfect bound flip books will be produced illustrating the gradient transition between the Glass House and the Farnsworth House. Additional copies may be considered for sale.
An event for the opening of the exhibition will be considered including inviting a number of speakers to participate in a series of talks or a panel discussion.
A website will be produced to document both the exhibition and its content to share with a wider audience.
The Glass House (1949)
The Farnsworth House (1951)
Philip Johnson (1906-2005)
Ludwig Mies Van der Roh (1886-1969)
All text and images are preliminary to be further developed for the grant application and exhibition.