Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, a study of his work

Essay by Peter ParkieHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 1996

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Ludwig Mies Van der Rohen was born in Aachen, Germany, in 1886, and lived all the way through to 1969. He was considered a pioneer of glass skyscrapers. He also liked to design tubular-steel furniture, like his famous "Barcelona chair", used in the Barcelona Pavilion, another of his great works. He became a professor of architecture in Chicago, where he designed two glass apartment towers on Lake Shore Drive, around 1956.

His greatest work is considered to be the Barcelona Pavilion, which in its original form was only a temporary building, meant for the Barcelona World fair. When the fair ended, it was supposedly shipped back to Germany, but lost in transit. Although many people praise it as the "greatest work of Modern Architecture", most of them have only seen it in pictures or photographs(although one architecture firm reproduced the pavilion, in cheaper materials, for use as their office !).

But a peculiar thing about this building is that when it was introduced in the Barcelona world fair, it did not contain exhibits, it only contained chairs, tables and stools designed by Rohe. It also contained a statue, called the "Kolbe", near a small pool. . He intended the structure to act as the exhibit itself, representing the "new thinking in Germany under the Weimar Republic"(Evans, 57). Most people didn't understand it. J

What made it so unique ? Mies realized that the wall could be independent of the weight of the roof, so he designed 8 colums that would carry the weight of the roof, but the walls did carry some of the weight. This is where the pavilion received some criticism, with people saying that he "get rid of those damned little posts interfering with his lovely design"(Evans, 58).

The other element of the pavilion is...