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  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

March 27,1886 - August 17,1969

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-born architect widely regarded as one of the masters of modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post war contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent the 20th Century.

His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define austere but elegant spaces. He developed the use of exposed steel structure and glass to enclose space, striving for an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of open space.

Mies was the son of a stone mason. As a quality touch he used book-matched marble in the 900 and 910 lobbies and granite around the perimeter of the buildings.

Mies’ first large-scale commercial work, commissioned by developer Herbert Greenwald, was the high-rise towers of 860-880 Lake Shore Drive (completed 1951). The 900–910 Esplanade Apartments, which were completed in 1955, also commissioned by Greenwald.

A proponent of the modernist International Style,he was director of the famous art school, the Bauhaus, and head of the department of Architecture at the Armour Institute of Technology (AIT), which is now the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). He continued to design buildings both in America and Berlin. In 1962, the Berlin Senate invited Mies to design the Neue Nationalgalerie. Noted for its clear-span space and classical temple design, it would be Mies’ final statement for his homeland.

Mies had a keen eye for sleek furniture design, developing much of the furniture for his early houses like those commissioned by Haus Werner and Haus Tugendhat.

He designed furniture for mass production while in a partnership with Lilly Reich. Among the first of these would be his cantilever chairs. Some versions of this popular tubular steel chair were more deep-seated and reclining. For Tugendhat, Mies designed an upright chair and an easy chair without armrests.

His most successful furniture was the Barcelona suite. It was originally created as seating for the King and Queen of Spain at the Barcelona Pavilion in 1928–29. It went on to become a mass-produced symbol of prestige.

His designs called for careful attention to materials and craftsmanship. Most have been successful enough to still be in production today.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 's products
Barcelona sofa
Barcelona Chair
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