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Archi-Mashups Splice And Dice Famous Houses

What would happen if Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye had a baby with Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House?

Victoria Lee, a student at Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, set out to illustrate such an architectural love child in her senior thesis. With the help of her faculty advisors Kyle Miller and Larry Bowne, she created hybrids of canonical works of architecture, variously combining the Farnsworth House, Villa Savoye, Andrea Palladio’s Villa Rotonda, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. These mashups show that “explicit appropriation can be a legitimate method of architectural production,” Lee argues in her thesis.


The hybrid structures have been rendered in the context of one of the original locations (over a waterfall in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, for instance), but the resulting mashups still feel like new creations–for better or for worse. Villa Farnssavwater features a McMansiony combination of Villa Rotunda’s classic columns, Villa Savoye’s pilotis, and Fallingwater’s stone walls with a rooftop swimming pool. The clean lines of the Villa Savoye meld with the domed ceiling of the Villa Rotunda to create a kind of grandiose, neoclassical library called Villa Satonda.

On the other end of the spectrum, the very modernist Farnsavoye combines the low-slung openness of the Mies masterpiece with the footprint and outdoor terrace of Le Corbusier’s French villa. Fallingworther mixes the height and shape of Frank Lloyd Wright’s three-story cantilevered house with the expansive glass windows of the Farnsworth House. Who needs originality?

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