In Chicago, black or silver-colored towers designed by Mies van der Rohe are sprinkled across the city from the north to the south. They all sprang up within a relatively short period of time and constitute — in combination with some faithful homages — what’s called the Second Chicago School of Architecture. This timeline makes it seem like Mies' strategies sprang out of nowhere and like they were born already fully developed. This video takes a look at how these tower strategies evolved from smaller projects to larger ones by paying special attention to their section. Whereas open plans promise ultimate fluidity, in section, Mies' buildings present another idea entirely. In this direction, difference and discretion dominate and symmetry rules. All of this is in service of developing a close connection between the occupant and the distant horizon.
Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.
Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.