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Mies van der Rohe, 1866-1969

por Claire Zimmerman

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Less is more: Finding perfection in purity   Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was one of the founding fathers of modern architecture. The creator of the Barcelona Pavilion (1929), the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois (1945-1951) and the Seagram Building in New York (1954-1958), Mies was one of the founders of a new architectural style. Well known for his motto "less is more," he sought a kind of refined purity in architectural expression that was not seen in the reduced vocabulary of other Bauhaus members. His goal was not simply building for those of modest income but building economically in terms of sustainability, both in a technical and aesthetical way; the use of industrial materials such as steel and glass were the foundation of this approach. Though the extreme reduction of form and material in his work garnered some criticism, over the years many have tried--mostly unsuccessfully--to copy his original and elegant style. This book explores more than 20 of his projects between 1906 and 1967, from his early work around Berlin to his most important American buildings.   About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Architecture Series features: an introduction to the life and work of the architect the major works in chronological order information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts and plans)… (mais)
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Ludwig Mies should be on anyone’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of the Twentieth Century. The way the trained mason used steel constructions and concrete, steel, and glass in building houses and offices has been copied from Atlanta to Abidjan.

Inspired by P. Behrens basic “building types” and H.P. Berlage’s “clear constructions” Ludwig Mies developed the archetypical buildings of the world as we know it today. Unlike the highrises that dot the suburbs in your city, Mies used high quality building materials, and that certainly helped in making them seem pleasant to work or live in. Unfortunately, Mies dedicated less of his intellectual powers to the use of buildings. He flatly accepted that it was problematic to show art in his Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Given the building’s potential he thought he did not have to take that fact into account. Equally, his Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois looks beautiful and ethereal, but proved difficult to live in.

This little coffee table book summarises it quite nicely. ( )
  mercure | Jan 10, 2011 |
The Taschen series continues with a beautiful work on Mies. Zimmerman also shows some works of the (less spectacular) early career of Mies who built his first commission, a conventional, large family home, at age 20. In the decade after First World War, he became one of Germany's leading architects. After his emigration to the USA in 1938, he managed to repeat the feat there with his signature steel and glass approach (whose copies clutter all modern cities).

Mies' buildings are visual treats and inviting public spaces. His open planes (and lack of defensive space and privacy) make them less suited for private living. His private houses lack the coziness and warmth of a Frank Lloyd Wright house. One feels like an intruder without place to store belongings or retreat to a protected space. No wonder, that Ms Farnsworth was not happy with her commission. Most of his private residences have been converted into museums. I have visited the Villa Tugendhat in Brno, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the (reconstructed) Pavillon in Barcelona and looked at the Seagram Building in New York. On my next visit to Chicago I will stop by the Illinois Institute of Technology. This booklet gives a good impression of Mies' buildings and serves as a planning guide for future excursions. ( )
2 vote jcbrunner | Sep 9, 2007 |
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Less is more: Finding perfection in purity   Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was one of the founding fathers of modern architecture. The creator of the Barcelona Pavilion (1929), the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois (1945-1951) and the Seagram Building in New York (1954-1958), Mies was one of the founders of a new architectural style. Well known for his motto "less is more," he sought a kind of refined purity in architectural expression that was not seen in the reduced vocabulary of other Bauhaus members. His goal was not simply building for those of modest income but building economically in terms of sustainability, both in a technical and aesthetical way; the use of industrial materials such as steel and glass were the foundation of this approach. Though the extreme reduction of form and material in his work garnered some criticism, over the years many have tried--mostly unsuccessfully--to copy his original and elegant style. This book explores more than 20 of his projects between 1906 and 1967, from his early work around Berlin to his most important American buildings.   About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Architecture Series features: an introduction to the life and work of the architect the major works in chronological order information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts and plans)

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