The whole world celebrates today the life and creations of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Designers and art-lovers look back at van der Rohe’s design principles and remember his “Less is more” famous quote.
On the 27th of March, 126 years ago, Ludwig Mies was born in Aachen, Germany. When he was 19 years-old, the designer moved to Berlin “seeking great architecture”. His first major architectural project was Riehl House in Potsdam, Germany, designed in 1907. Just one year later, van der Rohe gets hired in Peter Behrens’ firm, having famous designers Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier as colleagues.
In 1921, the young architect designs a skyscraper made entirely of glass and steel. He sends it to the Friedrichstrasse architecture competition, but doesn’t win any kind of mention. Now, decades later, this building style dominates all corporate architecture.
1920′s are the years when Ludwig Mies van der Rohe becomes interested in furniture design. Marcel Breuer, Mies’ peer at the Bauhaus, constructed the first tubular chair in 1925, after which Mies created the MR Chair.
1927? MR Chaise Longue is designed. Because of its modern materials and a minimalist aesthetic, the chaise longue was considered a revolution in furniture design.
Just two years later, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe creates is best-known furniture piece: the Barcelona Chair and shows it at Barcelona Exhibition in 1929 along with the Barcelona Pavilion building design. As the Guardian wrote today, “Mies never intended for mass production, has become the last word in corporate lobby furniture”.
Then, in 1930, the great designer created Brno Chair, named after the city in Czechoslovakia where he first showed it in. This is also the year when Mies becomes director of Bauhaus school. Mies moved the school’s focus back to architecture and interior design. The school was closed two years later by the Nazi regime.
In 1938, van der Rohe leaves Germany and moves to USA as head of the Armour Institute. There, he designs and builds some very famous buildings in Chicago: the Minerals and Metals Building of the Illinois Insititute of Technology, the Wishnick Hall and The Promontory Apartments. These include the 1950′s built famous 860-880 Lake Shore Apartments, described as a mix between “rational structure and irrational spirit”, and in 1963 he designs 2400 Lakeview Apartments.
In the summer of 1969 Mies dies, aged 83, because of a combined pneumonia and cancer of the esophagus.
When you think of a corporate building, you are probably re-picturing the famous One IBM Plaza building. This was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1970.
As a final remembrance of his designs, we must mention the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
Après Furniture recognises the value of original furniture designs. This is why we only supply furniture created exactly after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s designs. You will notice the high-quality materials, the gracious lines and a modern look. A great look. Happy 126′th birthday!