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  7. AD Classics: IBM Building / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

AD Classics: IBM Building / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

AD Classics: IBM Building / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
AD Classics: IBM Building / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, © Jeffery Howe
© Jeffery Howe

© Bluffton University © Bluffton University © Bluffton University © Bluffton University +9

From the architect. Completed four years after architect Mies van der Rohe's passing, the IBM Building became one of the cities most prestigious addresses. A pure symbol of the architecture of the time, the almost 700 foot tall rectangle sits on a raised plinth that helps it to maintain a uniform height given the unevenness of the site; State Street to the structure's west inclines steeply.

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University

As architecture, the IBM Building, along with many others designed by Mies van der Rohe, becomes synonymous with corporate power. 

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University

Black anodized aluminum and gray-tinted glass are used together to create a uniform skin that gives the appearance of a single imposing and impressive volume. It's strength and clarity of form are distinguishable and appreciated along the Chicago skyline, a tribute to the lifelong study of structural expression, organizational scale, material simplicity, proportion, and constructive detail.

Positioned on a riverside site, the IBM Building is open to views of the lake, and is very striking to passerby crossing over the river. It marks one of the last American buildings done by Mies van der Rohe, and also the tallest of all his buildings at 670 feet. 

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University

His participation in it's construction was comprable to that of an  observer, as he was growing older and even passed away a year before the completion of the structure.

In it's initial context, the IBM Building dominated it's surroundings, including the lower Chicago Sun-Times building to the east. This building was torn down and instead sits an under-construction behemoth of Donald Trump, standing 1,100 feet tall which may arguably block many of the views from the IBM Building.

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University

Recent news about the building has been centered around the conversion of the office building into residential rentals as IBM left for other quarters. This left the building with a new name, 330 North Wabash, and new intentions as a downtown building in Chicago. 

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University

Currently 36% of the building's space is not in use, and within a few years another 16 floors will empty as a result of the anticipated move of law firm Jenner and Block.

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University

The current plan is to convert floors 3 through 14 into about 275 condos, and continue on with the conversion as more floors become vacant. Although sales prices are around half of those for the high-end Trump units that are right next door, the fact that the IBM is now blocked in by taller structures along the east and west facades may make it more difficult to sell.

Although as it once was, the IBM Building has not yet been declared an official landmark, meaning that there still is not legal protection against dramatic or destructive alterations.

© Bluffton University
© Bluffton University
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Megan Sveiven. "AD Classics: IBM Building / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe" 07 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/117921/ad-classics-ibm-building-mies-van-der-rohe/>
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27 Comments

Chicago Line Cruises · March 28, 2012

A nice pictorial retrospective of LMvdR&#39s most enduring and visible design – 330 N. Wacker, aka the IBM Building http://t.co/gFUsOODy

Bruno Bellomo · July 11, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://t.co/G0TFMWt vía @archdaily

Architecture · March 14, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe | ArchDaily http://t.co/dZaisQm vía @archdaily

Arno M · March 09, 2011

RT @ludwigmichael: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://t.co/f1ZB3hj ????? This is one of my most accomplished office bu ...

Mies van der Rohe · March 09, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://t.co/f1ZB3hj ????? This is one of my most accomplished office buildings. Pride.

Arturo Sánchez · March 09, 2011

RT @Circle_West: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe | ArchDaily http://t.co/J6GnTpM via @archdaily

CircleWest Architect · March 09, 2011

IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe | ArchDaily http://t.co/J6GnTpM via @archdaily

A57 - Arq. Colombia · March 09, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

linetrio · March 09, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

Arch Lib · March 08, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

J E Strubbe · March 08, 2011

While I realize most buildings of the international style often had neutral lobbies that "became" the large commissioned art pieces they were adorned by, and the IBM corporation had a wonderful corporate collection, I am curious what the present state of the lobby may be, and wonder why there were no interior shots used in this article.

mauro parolo · March 08, 2011

#architecture AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe | ArchDaily http://t.co/w2947fz via @archdaily

arch paige · March 08, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe | ArchDaily http://t.co/epN0JB3 via @archdaily

daqb design · March 08, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

?????? · March 08, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

letraloggia · March 08, 2011

La razón de la increíble vigencia de ciertos signos:RT AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

Carlos Lanuza · March 08, 2011

According to Wikipedia:

"The building was declared a Chicago Landmark on February 6, 2008 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 26, 2010. It is also the newest building in Chicago in terms of age on both lists."

grandtradition · March 08, 2011

RT @SHUEDA: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe #architecture http://tiny.ly/Opao

PabloMontesMedialdea · March 08, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

estudio MAUS · March 08, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

Greg Shue · March 08, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe #architecture http://tiny.ly/Opao

DEZIGN · March 08, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe: © Jeffery HoweCompleted four years after architect Mies van der R... http://bit.ly/eFkFwI

Architecture+Molding · March 08, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe: Completed four years after architect Mies van der Rohe‘s passing,... http://bit.ly/hEUB46

Barry Maguire · March 08, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe via ArchDaily - © Jeffery Howe Completed four years after ... http://tinyurl.com/4dg26et

Koda Design · March 08, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe http://archdai.ly/dSx3OF #architecture

Bocetos Digitales · March 08, 2011

AD Classics: IBM Building / Mies van der Rohe: © Jeffery HoweCompleted four years after architect Mies van der R... http://bit.ly/hEUB46

Michael · March 08, 2011

My brother worked in the building for a summer about 20 years ago and said the floorplate was well-suited to the law firm he was with. Would think that would still be the case.

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© Jeffery Howe

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