Help fund "Mies in London", the riveting tale of Mies' only design for the UK
The last project famed architect Mies van der Rohe worked on would have also been his only building in the UK. Made of amber glass and steel, the office tower almost graced Mansion House Square in the City of London. Instead, James Stirling’s recently-landmarked, Postmodernist No 1 Poultry... View full entry
Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal to star in a new movie about Mies van der Rohe and Edith Farnsworth
The story of Mies van der Rohe and Edith Farnsworth—the namesake commissioner of the famous glass house—is rife with sex and scandal. According to the typical narrative, Farnsworth, a nephrologist of some acclaim, didn’t just want one of Mies’ buildings, but also the man himself. When... View full entry
Take a look at ZHA's competition entry for the Neue Nationalgalerie extension in Berlin
Patrik Schumacher, the current head of Zaha Hadid Architects, posted a few photos on his Facebook showing the firm's designs for the Neue Nationalgalerie extension competition. Over 40 firms participated in the competition before Herzog and de Meuron were announced as the winners. The Danish... View full entry
The Seagram Building after the Four Seasons: maintaining a costly landmark
Mr. Rosen would not mind getting a little credit for maintaining the 59-year-old building, a landmark inside and outside, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson. With its rich materials and exquisite detailing, the building demands scrupulous attention. And money.
RFR executives estimated that it cost about 20 percent more to maintain the seemingly spartan Seagram Building than it would a typical office tower of roughly the same size and age. Less is more.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Iconic furniture, art, tableware and even a sausage grinder: hundreds of lots from Philip Johnson's Four Seasons head to auctionModernist treasures from Philip Johnson's iconic Four Seasons Restaurant headed for auctionLandmarked Four Seasons restaurant must... View full entry
What drives creativity among architects?
What makes a person creative? What are the biographical conditions and personality traits necessary to actualize that potential? These were driving questions behind a 1958-59 study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, which attempted to divine the elements of creativity by... View full entry
Iconic furniture, art, tableware and even a sausage grinder: hundreds of lots from Philip Johnson's Four Seasons head to auction
If you've got a few thousand dollars lying around and want to grab a piece of lunchroom history, now's your chance.Perfectly summed up by Vanity Fair as “Absolute ground zero for power lunching”, Philip Johnson and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's iconic Four Seasons restaurant will end its lease... View full entry
Modernist treasures from Philip Johnson's iconic Four Seasons Restaurant headed for auction
Now that the iconic restaurant’s impending demise is only weeks away, its furniture, tableware, and custom-made Knoll furniture will be included in the 500 lots headed for auction next month on July 26. News had surfaced last summer when Seagram Building owner Aby Rosen did not renew the lease for the quintessential Midtown “power lunch” spot for the last decades of the 20th century since it opened in 1959.
Additional background on this news can be found here: Landmarked Four Seasons restaurant must not be changed, NYC landmarks commission rules View full entry
Completing the Mies van der Rohe Brick Country House, An Odyssey
A brick is an obdurate object of ambiguity that hovers between idea and matter, between life and death. Its texture can be smoothed to glide our touch or left rough and abrade. It can be molded into even shapes for consistent construction or made uneven, presenting individual challenges each time one is laid in a course. But while it can come close to an ideal oblong shape, it never attains perfection, and it can as much be said that it approaches perfection as it resists it.
— Numéro Cinq
I have revisited my piece on the Mies van der Rohe Brick County House that appeared at Archinect. It is a literary essay that I hope adds some extension and insight. It looks back to the Greeks and forward to recent architecture, adding reflections on Modernism and current work. Many questions... View full entry
A 'hidden' Mies van der Rohe masterpiece receives funding for renovation
A boxy steel and glass building standing just three stories tall, the Catholic Pastoral Center at 601 Grand Ave. doesn’t command a lot of attention. But among local architects and history buffs, it has a cult following.
“This is a building that appears in architecture textbooks,” said Jennifer James, an architectural historian...
Now, the building is poised for a $10 million renovation that Catholic Diocese of Des Moines officials say will extend its life another 50 years.
— Des Moines Register
The building in question, now known as the Catholic Pastoral Center, was designed by none other than Mies van der Rohe. One of the first steel and glass modernist buildings in Des Moines, it was originally known as the Home Federal Savings and Loan building and opened in 1962.The building... View full entry
Will Mies van der Rohe’s Wolf House rise again?
A group of German architects and planners has started a campaign to rebuild the Wolf House, widely seen as a link between van der Rohe’s early, more conventional designs and his later buildings, like the Barcelona Pavilion and the Farnsworth House, that would redefine modern architecture. [...]
But the plan has run into resistance from other architects and scholars who say that the Wolf House would be too hard to reconstruct [...].
Related stories in the Archinect news:Two of a kind: photographer Robin Hill contemplates the Farnsworth House and Glass House simultaneouslyRedesign of DC's main Mies library tip-toes around the good and the badDavid Chipperfield pledges to carefully "optimize" Mies van der Rohe's Neue... View full entry
Van der Rohe's Lafayette Park and three other sites named National Historic Landmark
Lafayette Park, the neighborhood northeast of downtown dotted with high-rises and townhouses, and known for its modern architecture, has attained the status of national historic landmark. [...]
The neighborhood consists of a 78-acre housing development designed and realized by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, considered a master of modern architecture. It was founded by developer Herb Greenwald to help keep the middle class in the city.
— The Detroit News
The three other sites that also recently gained landmark status are:George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, VirginiaRed Rocks Park and Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Jefferson County, ColoradoFirst Peoples Buffalo Jump in Cascade County, MontanaMvdR-related... View full entry
Survey: Why glass?
Ever since Mies Van Der Rohe's groundbreaking designs popularized the deceptively simple glass facade, architects have experimented with the incorporation of the material in their designs. Some, such as PLP Architecture, have opted to create commercial buildings that utilize an almost entirely... View full entry
Two of a kind: photographer Robin Hill contemplates the Farnsworth House and Glass House simultaneously
Naturally paired, but too quickly equated. Photographer Robin Hill takes on the iconic and somewhat contending Farnsworth House and Glass House in his photo series, "Side by Side: The Glass Houses of Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson". With eighteen magazine-ready spreads, Hill matches shots of... View full entry
View from the Farnsworth House may soon be a lot drier
"The river was part of its immediate environment. To move it to higher ground where it never floods would be ridiculous. You would ask: 'Why is it on stilts?' It makes no sense to me."
All along, Mies van der Rohe's iconic design for the retreat of Dr. Edith Farnsworth was intended to withstand floodwaters, but in the past 19 years, the house has flooded three times, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. These incidents were partially blamed on rapid suburban... View full entry
Landmarked Four Seasons restaurant must not be changed, NYC landmarks commission rules
The interior of the Four Seasons restaurant, a vision of Modernist elegance with its French walnut paneling and white marble pool of bubbling water, should not be changed, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission decided [...].
The decision was a setback to Aby J. Rosen, the owner of the Seagram Building, which is home to the restaurant. Mr. Rosen had proposed what he characterized as minor changes to the interior that was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson in 1958.
Phyllis Lambert — part of the group of architects passionately opposing Rosen's revamp plans and personally interwoven with the history of the Seagram Building like no one else — penned this Op-Ed in the New York Times last week: Save New York's Four Seasons. View full entry