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Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe 4
By Manu Claessens

  1. 27 March, 1886

    Modernist genious is born

    "Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect born in Aachen in 1886 and is regarded as one of the founding fathers of Modernist architecture alongside Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright. "

  2. 1910

    Early career

    "Mies began his career as an apprentice at the studio of Peter Behrens, where he worked alongside Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. Lacking any formal college-level education, Mies began his own practice designing upper class homes, influenced by 19th century Germanic domestic styles."

  3. 1925

    Mies as designer

    "Mies in collaboration with his partner Lilly Reich, designed modern furniture using new industrial technologies. Fine craftsmanship and a mix of luxurious fabrics like leather with modern chrome frames enhance the feeling of lightness. His Barcelona chair and table are icons of modern architecture."

  4. 1929

    Barcelona World expo

    "For the world exposition in Barcelona, Mies designed the German Pavilion. Both the Barcelona chair and the pavilion its’ simple form and spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx and travertine, continue to mesmerize people until this day. Mies’s less is more at its best. "

  5. 1930

    Villa Tugendhat

    "The Tugendhat family commissioned Mies to construct their villa in Brno, Czech Republic. Mies designed all the furniture in the house and icons like the Tugendhat- and Brno chair are testament to this. Mies emphasis’ on functionalism and vision on order created a feeling of space and light. "

  6. 11 March, 1937

    Crossing the Atlantic

    "After a stint as director of the Bauhaus Art School in Weimar, Mies left Germany in 1937 as the Nazi leadership rejected most of his “not Germanic enough” style. He moved to the US to become the head of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, simultaneously helping to build its campus."

  7. 1946

    American work: Apotheosis

    "In the US, Mies reached the Zenith of his architectural capabilities, epitome of this being the Farnsworth House in the suburbs of Chicago. An icon of the Modernist movement’s desire to juxtapose the sleek, streamline design of modern structure with the organic environment of the surrounding nature."

  8. 1958

    NY calling

    "The Seagram distillers approached Mies for their NY HQ which became a prime example of corporate architecture. Mies designed an open plaza in front to elegantly link the city with the tower. He de facto distanced himself from NY urban morphology and conventional skyscraper construction economics."

  9. 1962

    Berlin: the last stand

    "Mies last work was the Neue Nationalgalerie. The upper pavilion is a precise composition of monumental steel colums and a cantilevered roof with a glass enclosure. The square glass pavilion is an expression of his ideas about flexibile interior space, with most of the museum being below groundlevel."

  10. 1963

    London: the tower that never was

    "Described by Rogers as the “culmination of a master architect’s life work” and by Prince Charles as “a giant glass stump”, the Mansion House plan never got built. The UK’s propensity to demolish modernist gems has been matched only by the determination to deny planning permission in the first place."

  11. 1969

    Death of an icon

    "Our built environment is meant to be lived in. Mies’ buildings, beyond merely affecting our lives, endow them with greater significance and beauty. His buildings radiate the confidence and elegance of their creator and, free of ornamentation and excess, confess the essential elements of our lives. "

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