Mies Van der Rohe


Aachen / Germany

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the most important architects and designers in the entire history of architecture, among the greatest masters of the Modern Movement. Born in 1886 in Aachen, Germany, he moved to Berlin in 1905. He worked alongside Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius in the office of Peter Behrens, an influential architect and member of the independent Deutscher Werkbund movement. His career took off in the 1920s when he presented an avant-garde project for a steel and glass skyscraper on Friedrichstrasse.

Mies established himself as one of the most influential German architects, joining such radical movements as the Novembergruppe, the Deutscher Werkbund and the Bauhaus, which he directed from 1932 until it was closed by the Nazis in 1933. His German Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Barcelona in 1929 - striking for its extraordinary modernity - became the manifesto for the Modern Movement and the Bauhaus. For the occasion, the architect designed the timeless and iconic Barcelona chairs in steel and leather; the armchair, footstool, chaise longue, and the steel and glass coffee table are still produced by Knoll. As early as 1927, Mies had made his mark with the MR steel furniture collection, also in the Knoll catalogue.

Mies collaborated with the prestigious Thonet company, for whom he designed the famous S 533 steel-framed cantilever chairs, which are still in the catalogue today. At the end of the 1930s, following the advent of the Nazi regime, Mies emigrated to the United States along with many of his colleagues and friends, choosing to settle in Chicago. The German architect could not have known that - thanks to his masterpieces like the IIT campus and the Lake Shore Drive Apartments in Chicago, the Seagram Building in New York and the incredible Farnsworth House - he would change the history of architecture. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe died in Chicago in 1968, the same year his last work, the New National Gallery, opened in Berlin. ... More ... less

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