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Mies van der Rohe

“God is in the details”

Crown Hall

Farnsworth House, Plano, Illinois 1950

                                                                  Barcelona Pavilion building

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, are widely regarded as the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential twentieth century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strived towards an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought a rational approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design. He is often associated with the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

Mies van der Rohe was born in Aachen, Germany, on march 27, 1886 after having trained with his father, a master stonemason.  At 19 he moved to Berlin, where he worked for Bruno Paul, the Art Nouveau architect and furniture designer.  At 20 he received his first independent commission, to plan a house for a philosopher (alois riehl).
In 1908 he began working for the architect Peter Behrens. he studied the architecture of the Prussian Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Frank Lloyd Wright.  He opened his own office in Berlin in 1912, after world war I, he began studying the skyscraper and designed two innovative steel-framed towers encased in glass. one of them was the friedrichstrasse skyscraper, designed in 1921 for a competition. it was never built, although it drew critical praise and foreshadowed his skyscraper designs of the late 40s and 50s.

In 1927 he designed one of his most famous buildings, / the German pavilion at the international exposition in Barcelona in 1929. this small hall, known as the Barcelona pavilion (for which he also designed the famous chrome and leather ‘Barcelona chair’), had a flat roof supported by columns. the pavilion’s internal walls, made of glass and marble, could be moved around as they did not support the structure. the concept of fluid space with a seamless flow between indoors and outdoors was further explored in other projects he designed for decades to come.  Mies began working with Lilly Reich, who remained his collaborator and companion for more than ten years.

Incredible, breathtaking designs!

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