Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier
I just came from a graduation party for my friend’s son…eighteen and young and ready to face the world. I was reflecting on how time has flown by..and how old we all have become so quickly. It reminded me that we don’t have a very long time for trend or whimsy in our lives. When I was a young man I kept thinking that we have all this time for architectural experimentation. Now…approaching fifty..I am driven by the reality of the short span available for our impact.
In 1982…I decided that I liked the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Mies was a German architect who fled Nazi Germany and the Bauhaus to come to Chicago. He started the Illinois Institute of Technology..and always focused on the simplicity of rational design. I always felt like I was not supposed to like his work when I was in school. Mies was not nearly as sexy as Le Corbusier and certainly not in the same family as my professor Eisenmann. But my interest has not waned.
My first job out of grad school was in Chicago…in the south loop and on the beaten path of an entire block designed by Mies. I remember that space and feel that it is one of the strongest urban spaces in the world. Mies’ work is driven by the relentless pursuit of perfection and a strong attention to detail. I still believe in the power of detail and believe my interest in detail is why I have been drawn towards the interior environment.
So…let’s go detail. Go Mies.