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MIES VAN DER ROHE Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies; March

27, 1886 August 19, 1969) was a German-American


architect. He is commonly referred to, and was addressed, as Mies, his surname. He served as the last director of Berlin's Bauhaus,
and then headed the department of architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he developed the Second
Chicago School. Along with Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneering
masters of modern architecture.
After World War I, Mies began, while still designing traditional neoclassical homes, a parallel experimental effort. He joined his
avant-garde peers in the long-running search for a new style that would be suitable for the modern industrial age. The weak points
of traditional styles had been under attack by progressive theorists since the mid-nineteenth century, primarily for the
contradictions of hiding modern construction technology with a facade of ornamented traditional styles.
The mounting criticism of the historical styles gained substantial cultural credibility after World War I, a disaster widely seen as a
failure of the old world order of imperial leadership of Europe. The aristocratic classical revival styles were particularly reviled by
many as the architectural symbol of a now-discredited and outmoded social system. Progressive thinkers called for a completely
new architectural design process guided by rational problem-solving and an exterior expression of modern materials and structure
rather than, what they considered, the superficial application of classical facades.
While continuing his traditional neoclassical design practice Mies began to develop visionary projects that, though mostly unbuilt,
rocketed him to fame as an architect capable of giving form that was in harmony with the spirit of the emerging modern society.
Boldly abandoning ornament altogether, Mies made a dramatic modernist debut with his stunning competition proposal for the
faceted all-glass Friedrichstrae skyscraper in 1921, followed by a taller curved version in 1922 named the Glass Skyscraper.
He continued with a series of pioneering projects, culminating in his two European masterworks: the temporary German Pavilion
for the Barcelona exposition (often called the Barcelona Pavilion) in 1929 (a 1986 reconstruction is now built on the original site)
and the elegant Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic, completed in 1930.
He joined the German avant-garde, working with the progressive design magazine G which started in July 1923. He developed
prominence as architectural director of the Werkbund, organizing the influential Weissenhof Estate prototype modernist housing
exhibition. He was also one of the founders of the architectural association Der Ring. He joined the avant-garde Bauhaus design
school as their director of architecture, adopting and developing their functionalist application of simple geometric forms in the
design of useful objects. He served as its last director.
Like many other avant-garde architects of the day, Mies based his architectural mission and principles on his understanding and
interpretation of ideas developed by theorists and critics who pondered the declining relevance of the traditional design styles. He
selectively adopted theoretical ideas such as the aesthetic credos of Russian Constructivism with their ideology of "efficient"
sculptural assembly of modern industrial materials. Mies found appeal in the use of simple rectilinear and planar forms, clean
lines, pure use of color, and the extension of space around and beyond interior walls expounded by the Dutch De Stijl group. In
particular, the layering of functional sub-spaces within an overall space and the distinct articulation of parts as expressed by Gerrit
Rietveld appealed to Mies.

FARNSWORTH HOUSE The Farnsworth House was designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51. It is a one-room weekend
retreat in a once-rural setting, located 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Chicago's downtown on a 60-acre (24 ha) estate site,
adjoining the Fox River, south of the city of Plano, Illinois. The steel and glass house was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth,
a prominent Chicago nephrologist, as a place where she could engage in her hobbies: playing the violin, translating poetry, and
enjoying nature. Mies created a 1,500-square-foot (140 m2) house that is widely recognized as an iconic masterpiece of
International Style of architecture. The home was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, after joining the National
Register of Historic Places in 2004.[4] The house is currently owned and operated as a house museum by the historic preservation
group, National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The essential characteristics of the house are immediately apparent. The extensive use of clear floor-to-ceiling glass opens the
interior to its natural surroundings to an extreme degree. Two distinctly expressed horizontal slabs, which form the roof and the
floor, sandwich an open space for living. The slab edges are defined by exposed steel structural members painted pure white. The
house is elevated 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m) above a flood plain by eight wide flange steel columns which are attached to the sides of
the floor and ceiling slabs. The slabs' ends extend beyond the column supports, creating cantilevers. A third floating slab, an
attached terrace, acts as a transition between the living area and the ground. The house is accessed by two sets of wide steps
connecting ground to terrace and then to porch.
Mies found the large open exhibit halls of the turn of the century to be very much in character with his sense of the industrial era.
Here he applied the concept of an unobstructed space that is flexible for use by people. The interior appears to be a single open

room, its space ebbing and flowing around two wood blocks; one a wardrobe cabinet and the other a kitchen, toilet, and fireplace
block (the "core"). The larger fireplace-kitchen core seems like a separate house nesting within the larger glass house. The
building is essentially one large room filled with freestanding elements that provide subtle differentiations within an open space,
implied but not dictated, zones for sleeping, cooking, dressing, eating, and sitting. Very private areas such as toilets, and
mechanical rooms are enclosed within the core. Drawings recently made public by MOMA indicate that the architect provided
ceiling details that allows for the addition of curtain tracks that would allow privacy separations of the open spaces into three
"rooms". The drapery was never installed.
Mies applied this space concept, with variations, to his later buildings, most notably at Crown Hall, his IIT campus masterpiece.
The notion of a single room that can be freely used or zoned in any way, with flexibility to accommodate changing uses, free of
interior supports, enclosed in glass and supported by a minimum of structural framing located at the exterior, is the architectural
ideal that defines Mies' American career. The Farnsworth House is significant as his first complete realization of this ideal, a
prototype for his vision of what modern architecture in an era of technology should be.