Please enjoy the following pictures from the Indianapolis Museum of Art website...
The Millers hired Eero Saarinen, an architect originally from Finland, to design their family home. Saarinen is also well known for the designing the St. Louis Gateway Arch and Dulles International Airport. For the Miller House, Saarinen created a system of structural steel columns that creates a grid. Each corner of this grid allows for private spaces for bedrooms and the kitchen.
The home is filled with a soft natural light as result of a series of skylights that line up with the structural grid.
Alexander Girard, was responsible for the interiors of the home. Girard's design is modern without being severe. He was able to accomplish this with strong colors, fun patterns, antiques, and some folk art.
A sunken conversational area is a major feature of the interior. The area allows for lots of seating without the visual clutter resulting from additional groupings of chairs, sofas, and tables. Saarinen once described his ideal home as inspired by the simplicity of Japanese houses who would solve the problem of furniture, with its inevitable 'slum of legs'...instead create a sunken area.
The center living area was also inspired by Mid-West farmhouses were all rooms open to a common room so family members are drawn to the home's center to foster unity. Supposedly never published photographs of the Miller family taken in 1961 for a LIFE profile show messy desks, kids leaping out of the pit, and wheeled toys used inside.
It's hard for me to believe this home was completed in 1958, over 50 years ago! Don't you think it looks so current?!?
Girard's design boards, color and fabric swatches are pretty too. He created textile plans for the changing seasons!
The 96 inch round dining table is made entirely of marble. The flared support holds a brass pump that supplies water to a recessed bowl at the center of the table which can function as a lily pond, lawn, or fountain.
Girard designed a 50 foot long storage wall to hide all the items the family didn't want to display. He also designed several rugs in the home. One of the rugs included symbols to represent family members and special items with meaning to the family.
Dan Kily, a leading figure in modern American landscape architecture, was hired to design the home's exterior spaces. His goal was to expand Saarinen's architectural vision to the outside. Like the house, the gardens have a strong geometric order. The focus is on shaping the outdoor spaces versus creating complex floral combinations.
Here is a picture of the Millers. Irwin Miller turned a small family business into a multi billion dollar diesel manufacturing company. He was also a philanthropist who was known for his civic activism. Specifically, he helped Martin Luther King, Jr. organize the March on Washington. Xenia was also a philanthropist and was involved in numerous cultural aspects of the community. Plus they helped design a gorgeous home that will be one for the history books!
Have a great weekend!