Design at the Farnsworth

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The Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine has invited us, along with nine other accomplished architectural firms, to participate in an unusual and stimulating exhibition that begins on March 24th in their Crosman Gallery, and runs through September 23rd. See exhibit here.

The premise is simple and fertile:  At the heart of the museum grounds is the original Farnsworth House, built in 1850 for a wealthy young family whose daughter Lucy eventually founded the museum.  We are asked to re-imagine the original program, and design a house for a 21st century Farnsworth family on the site of the existing house.

In our design process for the new house, we have taken the opportunity to explore not only solutions for the specific program, but to use this time to deepen our investigations of larger topics.  How do we develop a solution that represents this place and this time as much as the original Homestead does?  What does it mean to choose to live in the center of a Maine town when one could afford to have an undisturbed ocean parcel?  What is the cultural language of architectural materials and details—both contemporary and historical—and how do we use them intentionally to convey meaning?

 We realize we’ve been given a wonderful opportunity here.  We’ve aimed for a design that is rich and provocative, and respectful of this unique and distinguished place.

Jenn Shore