Archive for the 'Mies van der Rohe' Category


Walter Gropius

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.

Walter Gropius, like his father and his great-uncle Martin Gropius before him, became an architect. Gropius could not draw, and was dependent on collaborators and partner-interpreters throughout his career. In school he hired an assistant to complete his homework for him. In 1908 Gropius found employment with the firm of Peter Behrens, one of the first members of the utilitarian school. His fellow employees at this time included Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Dietrich Marcks.

In 1910 Gropius left the firm of Behrens and together with fellow employee Adolf Meyer established a practice in Berlin. Together they share credit for one of the seminal modernist buildings created during this period: the Faguswerk in Alfeld-an-der-Leine, Germany, a shoe last factory. Although Gropius and Meyer only designed the facade, the glass curtain walls of this building demonstrated both the modernist principle that form reflects function and Gropius’s concern with providing healthful conditions for the working class. Other works of this early period include the office and factory building for the Werkbund Exhibition (1914) in Cologne.

In 1913, Gropius published an article about “The Development of Industrial Buildings,” which included about a dozen photographs of factories and grain elevators in North America. A very influential text, this article had a strong influence on other European modernists, including Le Corbusier and Erich Mendelsohn, both of whom reprinted Gropius’s grain elevator pictures between 1920 and 1930.

Gropius’s career was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Called up immediately as a reservist, Gropius served as a sergeant major at the Western front during the war years, and was wounded and almost killed.

Important buildings

Gropius House (1938) in Lincoln, Massachusetts1910–1911 the Fagus Factory, Alfeld an der Leine, Germany
1914 Office and Factory Buildings at the Werkbund Exhibition, 1914, Cologne, Germany
1921 Sommerfeld House, Berlin, Germany designed for Adolf Sommerfeld
1922 competition entry for the Chicago Tribune Tower competition
1925–1932 Bauhaus School and Faculty, Housin, Dessau, Germany
1936 Village College, Impington, Cambridge, England
1937 The Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA
1942–1944 Aluminum City Terrace housing project, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, USA
1949–1950 Harvard Graduate Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA (The Architects’ Collaborative)
1945–1959 Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, USA – Master planned 37-acre site and led the design for at least 8 of the approx. 28 buildings.
1957–1960 University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
1963–1966 John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
1948 Peter Thacher Junior High School,
1958–1963 Pan Am Building (now the Metlife Building), New York, with Pietro Belluschi and project architects Emery Roth & Sons
1957 Interbau Apartment blocks, Hansaviertel, Berlin, Germany, with The Architects’ Collaborative and Wils Ebert
1960 Temple Oheb Shalom (Baltimore, Maryland)
1961 The award-winning Wayland High School, Wayland, Massachusetts, USA
1959–1961 Embassy of the United States, Athens, Greece (The Architects’ Collaborative and consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios)
1967– 69 Tower East Shaker Heights, Ohio, this was Gropius’ last major project.
The building in Niederkirchnerstraße, Berlin, known as the Gropius-Haus is named for Gropius’ great-uncle, Martin Gropius, and is not associated with Bauhaus


Seagram Building

In 1958, Mies van der Rohe designed what is often regarded as the pinnacle of the modernist high-rise architecture, the Seagram Building in New York City. Mies was chosen by the daughter of the client, Phyllis Bronfman Lambert, who has become a noted architectural figure and patron in her own right. The Seagram Building has become an icon of the growing power of that defining institution of the 20th century, the corporation. In a bold and innovative move, the architect chose to set the tower back from the property line to create a forecourt plaza and fountain on Park Avenue. Although now acclaimed and widely influential as an urban design feature, Mies had to convince Bronfman’s bankers that a taller tower with significant “unused” open space at ground level would enhance the presence and prestige of the building. Mies’ design included a bronze curtain wall with external H-shaped mullions that were exaggerated in depth beyond what is structurally necessary, touching off criticism by his detractors that Mies had committed Adolf Loos’s “crime of ornamentation”. Philip Johnson had a role in interior materials selections and he designed the sumptuous Four Seasons Restaurant which has endured un-remodeled to today. The Seagram Building is said to be an early example of the innovative “fast-track” construction process, where design documentation and construction are done concurrently.

Using the Seagram as a prototype, Mies’ office designed a number of modern high-rise office towers, notably the Chicago Federal Center, which includes the Dirksen and Kluczynski Federal Buildings and Post Office (1959) and the IBM Plaza in Chicago, the Westmount Square in Montreal and the Toronto-Dominion Centre in 1967. Each project applies the prototype rectangular form on stilts and ever-more refined enclosure wall systems, but each creates a unique set of exterior spaces that are an essential aspect of his creative efforts.

TD Centre towers frame CN Tower in Toronto.During 1951-1952, Mies’ designed the steel, glass and brick McCormick House, located in Elmhurst, Illinois (15 miles west of the Chicago Loop), for real-estate developer Robert Hall McCormick, Jr. A one story adaptation of the exterior curtain wall of his famous 860-880 Lake Shore Drive towers, it served as a prototype for an unbuilt series of speculative houses to be constructed in Melrose Park, Illinois. The house has been moved and reconfigured as a part of the public Elmhurst Art Museum.

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Le Corbusier

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, who chose to be known as Le Corbusier (October 6, 1887 – August 27, 1965), was a Swiss-French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and also painter, who is famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called Modern architecture or the International Style. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in his 30s.

He was a pioneer in studies of modern high design and was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities. His career spanned five decades, with his buildings constructed throughout central Europe, India, Russia, and one each in North and South America. He was also an urban planner, painter, sculptor, writer, and modern furniture designer.

He was born as Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a small city in Neuchâtel canton in north-western Switzerland, in the Jura mountains, which is just five kilometres across the border from France. He attended a kindergarten that used Fröbelian methods.

Le Corbusier was attracted to the visual arts and studied at the La-Chaux-de-Fonds Art School under Charles L’Eplattenier, who had studied in Budapest and Paris. His architecture teacher in the Art School was the architect René Chapallaz, who had a large influence on Le Corbusier’s earliest houses.

In his early years he would frequently escape the somewhat provincial atmosphere of his hometown by travelling around Europe. About 1907, he travelled to Paris, where he found work in the office of Auguste Perret, the French pioneer of reinforced concrete. In 1908, He studied architecture in Vienna with Josef Hoffmann. Between October 1910 and March 1911, he worked near Berlin for the renowned architect Peter Behrens, where he might have met Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. He became fluent in German. Both of these experiences proved influential in his later career.

Later in 1911, he journeyed to the Balkans and visited Greece and Turkey, filling sketchbooks with renderings of what he saw, including many famous sketches of the Parthenon, whose forms he would later praise in his work Vers une architecture (1923) (Towards A New Architecture).

Major buildings and projects

The Open Hand Monument is one of numerous projects in Chandigarh, India designed by Le Corbusier
National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan
Centre Le Corbusier (Heidi Weber Museum) in Zürich-Seefeld (Zürichhorn)
A governmental building, Chandigarh, India
Villa Savoye1905: Villa Fallet, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
1912: Villa Jeanneret-Perret, La Chaux-de-Fonds [1]
1916: Villa Schwob, La Chaux-de-Fonds
1923: Villa La Roche/Villa Jeanneret, Paris
1924: Pavillon de L’Esprit Nouveau, Paris (destroyed)
1924: Quartiers Modernes Frugès, Pessac, France
1925: Villa Jeanneret, Paris
1926: Villa Cook, Boulogne-sur-Seine, France
1927: Villas at Weissenhof Estate, Stuttgart, Germany
1928: Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, France View on the map
1929: Armée du Salut, Cité de Refuge, Paris
1930: Pavillon Suisse, Cité Universitaire, Paris
1930: Maison Errazuriz, Chile
1931: Palace of the Soviets, Moscow, USSR (project)
1931: Immeuble Clarté, Geneva, Switzerland View on the map
1933: Tsentrosoyuz, Moscow, USSR
1936: Palace of Ministry of National Education and Public Health, Rio de Janeiro (as a consultant to Lucio Costa, Oscar Niemeyer and others)
1938: The “Cartesian” sky-scraper (project)
1945: Usine Claude et Duval, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, France
1947–1952: Unité d’Habitation, Marseille, France View on the map, History of the Prefabricated Home
1948: Curutchet House, La Plata, Argentina
1949–1952: United Nations headquarters, New York City (Consultant)
1950–1954: Chapelle Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France View on the map
1951: Cabanon de vacances, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin
1951: Maisons Jaoul, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
1951: Mill Owners’ Association Building, villa Sarabhai and villa Schodan, Ahmedabad, India
1952: Unité d’Habitation of Nantes-Rezé, Nantes, France View on the map
1952–1959: Buildings in Chandigarh, India
1952: Palace of Justice (Chandigarh)
1952: Museum and Gallery of Art (Chandigarh)
1953: Secretariat Building (Chandigarh)
1953: Governor’s Palace (Chandigarh)
1955: Palace of Assembly (Chandigarh)
1959: Government College of Arts (GCA) and the Chandigarh College of Architecture(CCA) (Chandigarh)
1956: Museum at Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India
1956: Saddam Hussein Gymnasium, Baghdad, Iraq
1957: Unité d’Habitation of Briey en Forêt, France
1957: National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
1957: Maison du Brésil, Cité Universitaire, Paris
1957–1960: Sainte Marie de La Tourette, near Lyon, France (with Iannis Xenakis)
1957: Unité d’Habitation of Berlin-Charlottenburg, Flatowallee 16, Berlin View on the map
1957: Unité d’Habitation of Meaux, France
1958: Philips Pavilion, Brussels, Belgium (with Iannis Xenakis) (destroyed) at the 1958 World Expositon
1961: Center for Electronic Calculus, Olivetti, Milan, Italy
1961: Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
1964–1969: Firminy-Vert
1964: Unité d’Habitation of Firminy, France
1966: Stadium Firminy-Vert
1965: Maison de la culture de Firminy-Vert
1969: Church of Saint-Pierre, Firminy, France (built posthumously and completed under José Oubrerie’s guidance in 2006)
1967: Heidi Weber Museum (Centre Le Corbusier), Zurich


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German-American architect. He was commonly referred to and addressed by his surname, Mies, by his colleagues, students, writers, and others.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of 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 20th 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, and is known for his use of the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

List of works
Toronto-Dominion Centre – Office Tower Complex, Toronto
Westmount Square – Office & Residential Tower Complex, Westmount
Nuns’ Island – 3 Residential towers and a filling station (closed), Montreal (c.1969)
Czech Republic
Tugendhat House – Residential Home, Brno
Riehl House – Residential Home, Potsdam (1907)
Peris House – Residential Home, Zehlendorf (1911)
Werner House – Residential Home, Zehlendorf (1913)
Urbig House – Residential Home, Potsdam (1917)
Kempner House – Residential Home, Charlottenburg (1922)
Eichstaedt House – Residential Home, Wannsee (1922)
Feldmann House – Residential Home, Wilmersdorf (1922)
Mosler House – Residential Home, Babelsberg (1926)
Weissenhof Estate – Housing Exhibition coordinated by Mies and with a contribution by him, Stuttgart (1927)
Haus Lange/Haus Ester – Residential Home and an art museum, Krefeld
New National Gallery – Modern Art Museum, Berlin
Bacardi Office Building – Office Building, Mexico City
Barcelona Pavilion – World’s Fair Pavilion, Barcelona
United States
Cullinan Hall – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Promontory Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Chicago
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library – District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, DC
Richard King Mellon Hall of Science – Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (1968)
IBM Plaza – Office Tower, Chicago
Lake Shore Drive Apartments – Residential Apartment Towers, Chicago
Seagram Building – Office Tower, New York City
Crown Hall – College of Architecture, and other buildings, at the Illinois Institute of Technology
School of Social Services Administration, University of Chicago (1965)
Farnsworth House – Residential Home, Plano, Illinois
Chicago Federal Center
Dirksen Federal Building – Office Tower, Chicago
Kluczynski Federal Building – Office Tower, Chicago
United States Post Office Loop Station – General Post Office, Chicago
One Illinois Center – Office Tower, Chicago
One Charles Center – Office Tower, Baltimore, Maryland
Highfield House Condominium | 4000 North Charles – Condominium Apartments, Baltimore, Maryland
Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Newark, New Jersey (1959)
Lafayette Park – Residential Apartment Complex, Detroit, Michigan (1963).[3]
Commonwealth Promenade Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Chicago (1956)
Caroline Weiss Law Building, Cullinan Hall (1958) and Brown Pavilion (1974) additions, Museum of Fine Art, Houston
American Life Building – Louisville, Kentucky (1973; completed after Mies’s death by Bruno Conterato)


Phillip Johnson

Philip Cortelyou Johnson (July 8, 1906– January 25, 2005) was an influential American architect. With his thick, round-framed glasses, Johnson was the most recognizable figure in American architecture for decades.

In 1930, he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and later (1978), as a trustee, he was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and the first Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 1979. He was a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. When Johnson died in January 2005, he was survived by his long-time life partner, David Whitney, who died only a few months later, on June 12, 2005.

Notable works

PPG Place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston
The Johnson Building at Boston Public LibraryJohnson House, “The Glass House”, New Canaan, Connecticut, (1949);
John de Menil House, Houston (1950);
The Rockefeller Guest House for Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1950);
The Seagram Building, in collaboration with Mies van der Rohe, New York (1956);
Four Seasons Restaurant, New York City (1959);
Expansion of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, D.C. (1960)
The Museum of Art at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, New York (1960);
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art;
New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, (with Richard Foster, 1964);
Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas (1961, expansion in 2001);
The New York State Pavilion for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, 1964);
The Kreeger Museum in Washington D.C. (with Richard Foster; 1967);
The main campus mall at the University of Saint Thomas in Houston, Texas ;
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library of New York University);
John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza in Dallas, Texas (1970);
The IDS Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1972);
Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas (1972);
Boston Public Library (1973);
Fort Worth Water Gardens (1974);
The Dorothy and Dexter Baker Center for the Arts at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania(1976);
Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas (1976);
The Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase College;
Evangelist Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California (1980);
Tata Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts (India), Mumbai (1980).
Metro-Dade Cultural Center in Miami, Florida, 1982;
The Chapel of St. Basil and the Academic Mall at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas;
The Republic Bank Center in Houston, Texas now rebranded Bank of America Center;
The Transco Tower, now rebranded Williams Tower, Houston, (1983);
The Cleveland Playhouse in Cleveland, Ohio (extension) (1983);
The Wells Fargo Center (Denver) in Denver, Colorado (1983);
PPG Place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1984);
The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, University of Houston (1985);
Comerica Bank Tower, Dallas, Texas, 1987;
Puerta de Europa, Madrid, Spain) John Burgee Architects, Philip Johnson Consultant;
190 South LaSalle in Chicago John Burgee Architects, Philip Johnson Consultant;
191 Peachtree Tower, Atlanta, Georgia John Burgee Architects, Philip Johnson Consultant;
101 California Street, San Francisco, California; Johnson/ Burgee Architects;
University of St Thomas St Basil Chapel (with John Manley, Architect) (1992);
AEGON Center in Louisville, Kentucky (1993), John Burgee Architects, Philip Johnson Consultant.
Comerica Tower in Detroit, Michigan (1993), John Burgee Architects, Philip Johnson Consultant.
Visitor’s Pavilion, New Canaan CT (1994).
Turning Point, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio (1996).
Philip-Johnson-Haus, Berlin, Germany (1997).
First Union Plaza, Boca Raton, Florida (2000).

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