One Architecture & Urbanism

One Architecture & Urbanism

Amsterdam, NL and New York


A Mies for All

A Mies for All wants to perfect the modernist project of accessible, mass-produced, quality architecture. It wants to bring the quality of a unique and authentic modernist design for the price of a standard building. Why would you want to live in a mimicked Mies van der Rohe (or Frank Lloyd Wright) if you can live in the original design of Mies (or Wright)?

By applying contemporary digital processes to these houses, one sees a radicalization of the vision of the architect. Mies van der Rohe in 1964 said: “I’ve tried to make an architecture that everybody can do.”

A Mies for All uses digital technology such that the traditional role of the architect can renew itself in the areas of software, technology, manufacturing and distribution.

Specially written parametric software makes it possible to optimize energy and materials. The composition, the height and width ratio of a building can be adapted to the situation and the location. The entire original design has been put in BIM, so that 2083 parts can be considered separately based on, for example, costs of production and transport, or on their ecological footprint. It allows individuals to look for alternatives by part, or by location. ‘Apps’ and an Internet forum involve interested people in the project, to see what has changed and can be improved, and to solicit contributions from other experts.

The Farnsworth House is originally built on the basis of an exceptionally high degree of workmanship, in a very laborious manner. For example, first the steel parts with bolts and nuts are attached to each other. Then they are welded, and then the bolts are buffed and sanded. Such production is unthinkable at this time.

Because the goal of A Mies of Allis to build a simpler Farnsworth, a production method has for instance been developed for a CNC-controlled wood version of the House. With the help of the computer, the whole building is exploded into patterns for plywood with a minimum of different parts and the most efficient use of plates. The plate thickness is adaptable in the program, so it works both in the U.S. and in Europe. After delivering the patterns to your local computer-controlled router, the construction package can be picked up after a short time. In this new version of Farnsworth, the energy efficiency in particular, both in terms of production and of its use, is greatly improved compared to the original one.

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Status: Unbuilt