Architecture Lighting Design

Multimedia lighting installation by Luftwerk and Iker Gil brightens up Mies Farnsworth House

November 3, 2019

Chicago-based lighting-installation practice Luftwerk, led by Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero, and architect Iker Gil, who recently joined SOM Foundation as executive director, and Oriol Tarragó, a Barcelona-based sound designer, have designed Geometry of light, a multimedia intervention at the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois. It was exhibited during the third edition of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The collaboration explores the synergy between architecture and sensorial responses to the structure as well as the surrounding site.

It was presented as part of the Fundació Mies van der Rohe’s ongoing programme of artistic interventions, exploring light, colour, and perception in immersive, experience-based installations.

Geometry of Light at the Farnsworth House, one of the most iconic modernist residences, explores the visible and invisible conditions that shape the close relationship between this historic house and the surrounding trees and Fox River.

“We are excited to continue the exploration of the work of Mies van der Rohe, initiated at the German Pavilion in Barcelona, and establish a conceptual dialogue between these two exemplary structures of the modern movement,” said Bachmaier and Gallero of Luftwerk and Gil of MAS Studio.

Petra Bachmaier

“Geometry of Light, a light and sound installation, presents a new interpretation of the Farnsworth House and its context. Developed in direct response to the site, the installation reveals through its outdoor intervention “the forgotten history of the site and remnants of the earlier landscape by revealing the underlying geometries that relate the house to its river floodplain site, topography, and key trees that no longer exist”.

In collaboration with the Farnsworth House, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and MAS Context, the art intervention Geometry of light first premiered in February 2019 at the German Pavilion in Barcelona, designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich.

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