Master architect Mies van der Rohe’s famous Farnsworth House has been threatened from flooding by the Fox River which runs directly past it.
Its owners, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, are now considering plans for a permanent solution to the problem- one of them being to install hydraulic stilts which would life the entire house out of the way in the event of a flood.
The Chicago Tribune reported that the plan would involve temporarily moving to house, in order to create a pit containing the hydraulic mechanism. It is estimated to cost about $2.5mn to $3mn.
Alongside this option, the Trust have considered two other possibilities. One of them is permanently raising the ground on which the house sits with a 9 ft high sloping mound at a cost of $2.9mn. There is also an option at a lower cost of $400, 000 which is to simply move the house 400 feet away from the river.
Previously, the Trust has expressed a desire to preserve the interiors of the architects original design and keep the house in its present location.
An independent panel including including Mies’ grandson, Dirk Lohan, concluded that the hydraulic stilts was the “most promising” option.