This 1950’s steel and glass masterpiece of Mies van der Rohe sits on the banks of the Fox River, 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The house was elevated on steel columns five feet above grade to prevent flooding; however, as suburban development encroaches further out from the city, less ground becomes permeable, and flooding becomes more frequent and severer. A flood in 1996 rose another five feet above the floor of the house, and water broke through one of the large glass windows. Then owner Lord Peter Palumbo hired Lohan Associates to repair the damage, including replacing the enormous window, cleaning the river mud, and replacing the damaged wood cabinets.

In addition to flood repairs, Dirk Lohan also designed two custom pieces of millwork furniture, a desk and a bed. Mr. Lohan also proposed putting the steel columns that support the structure on hydraulic jacks that would raise the house another eight feet in the event of future deluges.

Completed: 1997
Architect: Lohan Associates

Farnsworth House, Plano, Illinois