Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A Brief Thesis on:
Lugwies Mies Van De Rohe
By Elijah Karnley
Presented to Dr. William Carpenter

For Nearly five decades German Born Architect, Mies Rohe made significant contributions to the wonderful profession of architecture. Borne in 1886, Mies’ early association with the Art began at the age of 19 when he worked for Bruno Paul, the Art Nouveu Architect and furniture Designer. He received his first commission by age 20 to design a house for Alois Riehl, and later worked for German Architect Peter Behrens.Mies began his own firm in Berlin by 1912. Among some of his accomplishments were his role as head of the Architecture Department at AIT in Illinois, and his impact on modern architecture by the introduction of the steel and glass style. One of his famous buildings was the Farnsworth house because of its transparent box which was framed by eight exterior columns (Spaeth). Most remarkable and unforgettable of his contributions are his Design Principles to which this paper shall be dedicated. Mies believed that the value of architecture is derived from the characteristics and attitudes of a civilization and that these characteristics are best expressed through the use of clear construction. He strived for a universal architecture for a technological society. He regarded structure (especially the rolled steel and large plate glass) as the truest guardian of the spirit of the times because it is objective and not affected by personal individualism or fantasy (Carter). One of is famous saying was “less is more” an enlightenment to modern movement which emphasizes that simplicity in architecture is better, a complementary principle to Adolf Loos’ “ornament and crime”. These principles should be detailed as the discussion unfolds.

1.Mies Van Der Rohe: David Spaeth, Rizolli International Publishing, 1985
2.Mies Van Der Rohe at work: Peter Carter, Phraeger publishing, New York 1953.