Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (27 March 1886 – 17 August 1969) is one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, known for his role in the development of the most enduring architectural style of the era: modernism. Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies' career began in the influential studio of Peter Behrens, where Mies worked alongside other two other titans of modernism, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. For almost a century, Mies' minimalist style has proved very popular; his famous aphorism "less is more" is still widely used, even by those who are unaware of its origins.
Mies van der Rohe’s seminal Barcelona Pavilion is one of the most well-loved structures in the history of architecture, a de facto pilgrimage site for architects and architecture lovers around the world. Now, even those unable to make the trip have the opportunity to get a tour of the beautiful structure, thanks to a new virtual walkthrough produced by The Mies van der Rohe Foundation.
Five European projects have been selected as finalists for the 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award. Chosen from a shortlist of 40 projects, the five finalists were lauded by the jury for their ability to “respond to the concerns of today’s European society.”
“Our instincts could be summed up by the words of Peter Smithson: ‘things need to be ordinary and heroic at the same time,’” said Jury Chairman Stephen Bates. “We were looking for an ordinariness whose understated lyricism is full of potential’.”
Through April, the jury members will visit each finalist project to evaluate the buildings firsthand and to see how they are used by the public. The Prize Winner will be announced in Brussels on May 16.
The five finalists are:
One of architecture’s greatest tales – the commission of Mies van der Rohe’s seminal Farnsworth House – is set to receive the Hollywood treatment. As reported by Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman, the story of the home’s construction will be taken on by actors Jeff Bridges (as the architect) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (as Dr. Edith Farnsworth), who last teamed up for 2009’s acclaimed Crazy Heart.
40 Projects Shortlisted for the 2017 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies Van Der Rohe Award
The European Commission and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation have announced the 40 shortlisted works that will compete for the 2017 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. The jury has chosen from 355 nominated works and the shortlist highlights the opportunities and the trends of today’s European territory: cities, housing, heritage, and memory. The five finalists will be announced in mid-February and the winner and the Emerging Architect in mid-May.
A third of the works tackle the challenge of contemporary architecture in relation with built heritage and a third of the work tackles the contemporary challenges of housing. The management of the historic urban landscape will be among the priorities highlighted by the ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage' in 2018.
"I would want the shortlisted schemes to demonstrate an interest in making places, in exploring convention and known typologies, in celebrating the pleasures of everyday use by a consideration of detail and an unspoken resistance to the current global tendency towards a self-referential architecture, one that belies context and the act of inhabitation." - Stephen Bates, Chairman of the Jury.
Seen the shortlist after the break.
This week Phyllis Lambert, widely considered to be among the most influential figures in architecture, turned 90. Known primarily for founding the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in her hometown of Montrèal in 1979, she also acted as Director of Planning for the world-renowned Seagram Building in Manhattan (a tower commissioned by her family). The project is often cited as one of Mies van der Rohe's most important built works. As a practising architect, Lambert designed the Saidye Bronfman Centre (1967) – a performing arts center named after her mother.
The world of architecture can be a serious place. Though the rest of the world holds quite a few stereotypes about architects, unfortunately none of them include us having a sense of humor—and perhaps that seriousness explains why one of the most popular memes involving architects isn't exactly favorable to the profession. Here at ArchDaily we thought we'd do just a little to correct that with some memes riffing on some of the profession's most beloved names—as our gift to the entire architectural profession. Read on to see what we've come up with, and don't forget to get involved with your own architecture funnies.
Next year the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open a seminal new exhibition: Mies van der Rohe & James Stirling: Circling the Square. The show will examine two iconic schemes proposed for the same site in the City of London: Mies van der Rohe’s unrealised Mansion House Square project (developed by Lord Peter Palumbo) and its built successor, James Stirling Michael Wilford & Associates’ No.1 Poultry.
Due to the redevelopment of Detroit and the surging popularity of mid-century design, home prices and cost of living in the neighborhood have dramatically increased in just 5 years time – leaving the community on the cupse of turnover. Seeing the need to document Lafayette Park before it changes for good, Clancy uses his camera to capture the diverse group of existing residents in their homes, highlighting their relationships to the timeless architecture.
This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "An Incredible Journey into the New York City that Never Was."
Imagine the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty were filled up with land. That you could walk right up to Lady Liberty herself, following a path from Manhattan’s Battery Park. Believe it or not, in 1911, this could have been.
In Never Built New York, authors Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell (foreword by Daniel Libeskind) describe with irony, and sometimes nostalgia, the most significant architectural and planning projects of the last century, projects that would have drastically changed the city—but never did.
Symposium: MIES VAN DER ROHE – BARCELONA, 1929, Lectures and debates on the Pavilion and Mies van der Rohe
On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the reconstruction of the Barcelona Pavilion, the Fundació Mies van der Rohe has organised a symposium, presided over by Juan José Lahuerta, on the figure of Mies van der Rohe and the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition.
The symposium entitled "MIES VAN DER ROHE – BARCELONA, 1929, “Lectures and debates on the Pavilion and Mies van der Rohe” will be held on October 13, 14 and 15 at the Barcelona CaixaForum and will constitute a point of encounter for discussions and knowledge exchange.
In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus school in 2019, Harvard Art Museums has released an online catalogue of their 32,000-piece Bauhaus Collection, containing rarely seen drawings and photographs from attendees and instructors of the revolutionary German design school.
The collection features work from the likes of Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, Marcel Breuer, and Bauhaus-founder Walter Gropius himself, and can be navigated through a search bar and an easy-to-use set of filters, allowing you to categorize work by topic, medium, date or artist.
In early 2016, we introduced Vardehaugen, a Norwegian office that created a series of life sized drawings of their projects in their own backyard. After publishing this exercise on our site, Spanish architect and academic Alberto T. Estévez reached out to tell us that this same exercise has been carried out at ESARQ (UIC Barcelona) for the past 10 years with second and third year architecture students. According to Estévez, the exercise "represents something irreplaceable: it brings you closer to experiencing life-sized spaces of classic works of architecture" from the Farnsworth house to José Antonio Coderch's Casa de la Marina.
About 10 years ago I had an idea for a special teaching exercise, one that I thought would be interesting and instructive at the same time. So I started doing the practice class we’ve been talking about with architecture students in their second and third year of study at ESARQ (UIC Barcelona): the School of Architecture, which I founded 20 years ago as the first Director at the International University of Catalonia.
Now, we do the lesson every year in the Architectural Composition class that I teach, which discusses the theory and history of architecture.
Today marks 130 years since the birth of German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In honor of this tremendously influential figure, we're shining some light into the lesser known facts about Mies' life in order to better understand and contextualize his architecture.
For this, our colleagues at ArchDaily en Español have referred to "Vidas construidas, Biografías de arquitectos" (Constructed Lives, Biographies of Architects), a book by Anatxu Zabalbeascoa and Javier Rodríguez Marcos. This text, released by publisher Gustavo Gili, features the biographies of 20 of the world's most celebrated architects, from the Renaissance to the Modern movement. Each story is a fascinating journey into the lives of each architect, and the details allow us to understand the genesis of many works that are today considered classics.
We've chosen 20 facts that reveal the thoughts, influences and decisions that brought Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's architecture to the forefront of modernism.
Swiss filmmaker Alexandre Favre has explored his passion for architecture with the creation of this film about Mies van der Rohe. Starting with the German Pavilion replica, Favre began a journey that would lead him to a number of Mies' most notable works, filming them with equipment that was contemporary at the time of each project's fruition. Inspired by the architect's "less is more" motto, Favre aimed to capture the essence of Mies' architecture by revealing the projects in a simple format taken from the human perspective.
Villa Tugendhat (1928–30) in the Czech Republic is the most well-preserved example of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s early functionalism. It is regarded as one of the world’s most important manifestations of villa architecture and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building also likely inspired the Norwegian architect Arne Korsmo’s work on Villa Stenersen (1937–39).
The city of Chicago is an intersection of multiple systems – the organizational orders of its modernist buildings; the presence of the federal government; the negotiations and orders of the lives of its marginalized communities. “We Know How to Order”, conceived by Bryony Roberts, choreographed by Asher Waldron and performed by the South Shore Drill Team, brings these intersections to life in a vibrant street performance for the first ever Chicago Architecture Biennial. A series of drill routines with influences from street choreography, the project explicitly "super-imposes" its system of movement onto the organization of Mies van der Rohe’s Federal Center, calling "attention to the accessibility of public space in the US" and "how architectural systems alongside social expectations influence the occupation of common space," according to the Chicago Architecture Biennial guidebook.
The Barcelona Pavilion was officially only used once, and that was on the 27th of May, 1929, when King Alfonso XIII of Spain participated in a ceremony for its opening. Its role, according to an official statement by President Paul von Hindenburg, was to “present the Spirit of the New Germany: simplicity and clarity of means and intentions—everything is open, nothing is concealed.” As the first official participation of Germany in an international event since the catastrophic end of the First World War, it was a day of enormous symbolic importance, attended by diplomats, aristocrats and dignitaries. Within a few years the peace would collapse, in Barcelona as much as in Berlin, but for a moment, in May, modernity was met with optimism.
The Barcelona Pavilion was intended to embody this moment. Free of external ornament, the building was made of the most luxurious materials. Walls were fashioned of thin plates of luminous semi-precious stone, from green polished marble to golden onyx. According to Philip Johnson’s influential account, they didn’t physically limit space, but rather suggested flowing movement, and didn’t divide so much as bind; bringing the inside to the outside by continuing beyond the roofline into the garden. While the columns provided a kind of cartesian grid of points tethering the roof, the walls were positioned freely. In the courtyard was a bronze nude, arms aloft in a gesture that might be dance, might be grief, reflected in a still pool. With the asymmetrical walls, the luxurious stone, the bright light, the podium on which it sat; the pavilion was at the same time both a hyper-modernist building, and a classical ruin.