H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Mies van der Rohe
In 1937, Mies came to
Chicago from Berlin to be
director of the Department of Architecture at the
Armour Institute, now the Illinois Institute of
Technology. In Germany, he had directed the Bauhaus
School of Design from 1930 to 1933, closing it after Nazi threats.
Though he had built only 19 buildings, he was internationally famous
when he came to Chicago. At IIT through 1958, he designed the
institutes master plan and a number of campus buildings (Crown Hall
model shown above).
Mies celebrated contemporary
technology and materials; under his
influence, skyscraper construction switched from masonry to metal and
glass. Following his credo, less is more, his buildings were
characterized by refined designs devoid of applied ornament. Mies also
applied his aesthetic to such furniture designs as the Barcelona chair.
Mies starkly simple
German Pavilion at the 1929 International
Exposition in Barcelona crystallized public acceptance of the modern
architecture that became known as the International Style. In Chicago,
notable Mies buildings include the Federal Center, One IBM Plaza,
860-880 North Lake Shore Drive Apartments, and Promontory
Apartments (5530 South Shore Drive). For much of his life, Mies lived
at 200 East Pearson Street.