Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Postage stamp, in the background the Neue Nationalgalerie
Mies van der Rohe's headstone in Graceland Cemetery, Chicago
Barcelona Pavilion , Barcelona 1929 (reconstruction 1986)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (born March 27, 1886 in Aachen ; † August 17, 1969 in Chicago ; actually Maria Ludwig Michael Mies ) was a German-American architect .

Mies van der Rohe is considered one of the most important architects of the modern age . Using the resources of technical civilization, he wanted to organize and represent them architecturally. His architecture is the expression of constructive logic and spatial freedom in classic form. To this end, he developed modern steel support structures that enabled a high degree of variability in the usable area and large-scale glazing of the facades. This concept was so rational and universal that it exerted an extraordinarily large influence on many contemporary architects (see also International Style ) and has been continuously developed to this day, in line with technical innovations. The ratio of proportion ,The detail and material in his work, as well as the unique room creation over the years in Berlin, also had a great effect. He also became famous as a representative of minimalism in architecture , expressed by the formula “ less is more ”.


Childhood in Aachen

The home of the Mies family in Aachen
Haus Riehl, Potsdam-Neubabelsberg 1907, after renovation in 2001 by Folkerts Architekten

Maria Ludwig Michael was the youngest son of the Aachen master stonemason Michael Mies (1851-1927) and his wife Amalie (née Rohe, 1843-1928). He grew up with his brother and two sisters in simple Catholic circumstances and, after primary school, attended the cathedral school in Aachen for three years.

Vocational training in Aachen

From 1899 to 1901 he prepared for professional life at the trade school in Aachen (today's name: Mies-van-der-Rohe-Schule, vocational college for technology in the Aachen region ) and as a bricklayer's apprentice at a construction company.

He got his first job as a draftsman for stucco ornaments. His talent for drawing was already noticed in his parents' company, where he occasionally worked in the production of natural stone components and tombs. Drawing was also extensively taught at the trade school, and the daily work on the ornaments further improved his skills in the field.

In 1904 Mies switched to the Aachen architect Albert Schneider , where he was employed as a draftsman for the ornamental facade of the Leonhard Tietz department store . This building on Aachen's market square was demolished in the 1960s. What has been preserved, however, is the former social democratic people's house “Zur Neuen Welt” by Joseph Oeben on Alexanderstrasse, where Mies was demonstrably involved in the design and construction. It is therefore the oldest surviving structure that Mies worked on.

The Berlin construction company Boswau & Knauer was responsible for the execution and local construction management for the Tietz department store , whose employees asked Rudolf Dullo Mies to go to the capital. He helped him get a job with John Martens at the Rixdorf Building Department (now Berlin-Neukölln ). In 1905 Ludwig Mies left hometown and family. Its origin as well as its sense of material and craftsmanship later became evident in its architecture.

Years of apprenticeship in Berlin

That same year, Mies successfully applied to Bruno Paul , who had just come to Berlin from Munich. Mies worked with him for the first time on furniture designs and attended his lectures at the Berlin School of Applied Arts and the University of Fine Arts . Here he also met the Riehl couple, who wanted to build a new house and encourage a young talent for planning. Through the mediation of a colleague, the choice fell on Mies, and with the benevolence of Paul he built his first work completely independently in 1907: the Riehl house in Babelsberg in the style of the reform architecture of the Munich school taught by Paul . It was well received by the specialist press, and the garden design was done by the important health gardener Karl Foerster . Before that, he and his colleague had undertaken a six-week study trip to Italy (Florence, Rome, Vicenza) on the initiative and with the support of the Riehls. In the following years, the relationship with his clients turned into a very beneficial personal friendship. Here he also met his future wife Ada Bruhn, who lived with her friend, the dancer Mary Wigman , in the important garden city of Hellerau . Mies therefore also visited Hellerau several times and was certainly influenced by the Tessenow Festival Theater, its futuristic stage design and the spirit of reform at this site. This was certainly where he came into contact with Monte Verità in Switzerland, the cradle of alternative or modern movements, for which he created a design for the Lebensreform hotel in 1927. The Nietzsche specialist Alois Riehl will certainly have given the young Mies philosophical impulses in his reading circles in his house, the so-called Klösterli , and helped him with many well-known guests to start his career early.

Six Behrens assistants at work: (from left) Mies van der Rohe, Meyer , Hertwig , Weyrather (behind), Krämer , Gropius (with plan), 1908

In 1908, Mies followed a recommendation from his office manager and switched to Peter Behrens , where he was able to develop his professional skills on major large-scale projects. In addition, the intensive intellectual examination of architecture in general began now. Behrens himself belonged to the avant-garde and it was no coincidence that Walter Gropius also worked for him. The excursions with colleagues to the buildings of Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the exhibition of the works of Frank Lloyd Wright in Berlin in 1910 also left lasting impressions. In 1911, Mies realized his second building, again single-handedly: Haus Perls in Berlin-Zehlendorf ( neoclassicism ). In the same year he was withdrawn by Behrens from the construction management for the new building of the German embassy in Saint Petersburg and entrusted with the project management for the private residential museum complex Kröller-Müller in the Netherlands. The project did not get beyond planning because the clients could not come to an agreement with Behrens and withdrew the contract. But badly they suggested working out their own draft.

So he left the Behrens office in 1912 and accepted an invitation to The Hague , where he worked on a neoclassical building complex as a guest of his clients. However, Hendrik Petrus Berlage had also been asked for a design, which was ultimately awarded the contract. Mies later pointed out how instructive and valuable the acquaintance with Berlage's material treatment and constructive logic was for him. Berlage's theoretical work was also very much appreciated by him.

Urbig House, Potsdam 1915/17

Mies returned to Berlin in 1913 and married his girlfriend Adele Auguste (called Ada) Bruhn (1885–1951, factory owner's daughter and dancer) in April. He opened an architecture office and received the order for a residential building in Zehlendorf, which for the next ten years was the first in a series of his more classic villas in the reform style for upper-class builders. Between 1915 and 1917 he built a hipped roof villa based on Schinkel for Mrs. Riehl's friend and her husband, the co-owner of Deutsche Bank Franz Urbig . Inside, large, slightly mystical wall paintings with landscapes by the Potsdam painter Fritz Rumpf adorn the main hall, the music room and the reception room. The so-called Haus Seefried by Urbig also has a gym, a gardener's house in the garden with its own jetty on Lake Griebnitzsee . The building is also known as the “Churchill Villa”, since Winston Churchill lived here in 1945 during the Potsdam Conference .

Before and during World War I , his wife Ada had three daughters, including Georgia van der Rohe . He was drafted into the army in autumn 1915 and assigned to various construction companies in Frankfurt am Main, Berlin and Eastern Europe. He did not take part in fighting and returned to Berlin in early 1919. In the years that followed, his marriage fell into profound crisis, and in 1921 the couple separated by mutual agreement. In the following year he extended his surname to include the derivation "van der" and the maiden name of his mother to "Mies van der Rohe".

Departure into the modern age

Model settlement Am Weißenhof , Stuttgart 1927
Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona 1929
Villa Tugendhat , Brno 1930
formerly VerSeid AG, today Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Business Park, Krefeld 1931

The First World War was a culture shock in Europe as a whole. Its nature and extent revealed pre-war illusions. Many also saw the architecture with different eyes. Few avant-gardists had already suspected that the enormous scientific, technical and social developments of the 19th century could not be expressed architecturally authentically with historicizing recourse and ornamental cladding. Modern architects were now concerned with a complete reformulation of contemporary architectural theory . Thanks to his experience with Paul, Behrens and Berlage, Mies van der Rohe immediately understood this challenge and faced it, although he certainly did not have the appropriate educational background for theoretical problems. However, a natural and serious interest in philosophical and scientific topics can be proven early on. At the end of his life he left behind an extensive library with, in large parts, intensively worked through books on architecture, philosophy and natural sciences. In fact, no other protagonist of modern architecture has orientated himself as closely to philosophical principles as Mies van der Rohe.

With the revolution in November 1918, the republic was proclaimed in the German Reich. In the same month, a number of artists came together in Berlin to discuss their ideas of modern art and bring them closer to the public through exhibitions. They founded the November Group . Mies van der Rohe joined them in 1921 and until 1925 organized this group's architectural contributions to the annual Great Berlin Art Exhibition .

In 1921 Mies van der Rohe took part in a competition for an office tower on Friedrichstrasse in Berlin. His contribution was not taken seriously by the organizers of the competition because it was too imprecise and unusual. However, it is quite possible that Mies van der Rohe, for his part, did not take the awarding authority seriously because the economic situation did not allow such a project to be carried out anyway. His skyscraper design was probably above all a study with which he went public on this occasion. From today's perspective, this study is visionary, because for the first time all the main usable areas were largely variable and the facade was completely glazed. Here is the first example of his “skin and bones” architecture of the later years, with “skin” standing for the glass facade and “bones” for the steel structure.

In 1922 he varied this topic with another study for a “glass high-rise”. He had a large model made of it and presented it with the November group at the Berlin art exhibition. In 1923 he took part in the exhibition in the same way, this time with two studies: the "Landhaus in Eisenbeton" and the "Bürohaus in Eisenbeton". The office building with its all-round ribbon windows was again obviously trend-setting, the country house with its floor plan and the outside space was just as innovative. In 1924, Mies van der Rohe presented one last study: the “Brick country house”. Perhaps inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and his prairie houses, paintings by Theo van Doesburg or the “Prounen Raum” by El Lissitzky , the idea of ​​the open floor plan, the flowing space, appeared in his work for the first time.

These five studies were gradually presented in various exhibitions on modern architecture in a number of cities in Germany and Europe. In the history of building they are considered to be remarkably innovative and as the nucleus of his later work. Mies van der Rohe organized other exhibitions, gave lectures and wrote articles for his friends and colleagues in the magazine G as well as in other publications. He participated intensively in the debates about modern architecture and took a position on the part of the New Objectivity , without, however, in the end completely or one-sidedly devoting himself to functionality.

In 1923 Mies van der Rohe built his first building in a modern design language: House Ryder in Wiesbaden, a brightly plastered cubic house with a flat roof. Haus Wolf in Guben from 1926 later shows clear references to the two country house studies and proves its independence in formal expression.

In the mid-1920s, several large social housing estates were built in some cities of the German Reich in the course of the economic recovery after the inflation (e.g. by Ernst May and Bruno Taut ). In this context, Mies van der Rohe realized his most extensive project to date. These were four apartment buildings on Afrikaner Strasse in Berlin-Wedding , which were completed in 1927. Here he used prefabricated standard components (e.g. windows) to reduce construction costs and, with the open grouping of the buildings, tried to ensure good lighting and ventilation of the apartments. Formally, the buildings are similar to the Ryder house in Wiesbaden.

After Mies van der Rohe was accepted into the BDA (Association of German Architects) in 1923 , he and other progressive members founded an internal discussion group called " Der Ring " here in 1924 . Within the BDA, this led to violent disputes between those members who were connected to tradition and those who were committed to modernity, as a result of which Mies van der Rohe terminated his membership in the BDA in 1926.

In 1924 Mies van der Rohe joined the DWB (Deutscher Werkbund) on invitation and was appointed vice president in 1926. In this function he directed the Werkbund exhibition "The Apartment" in 1927 in Stuttgart. Part of this exhibition was the model estate Am Weißenhof ( Weißenhofsiedlung ) in the Killesberg district, whose development plan he designed and whose implementation he coordinated. In addition, he contributed himself with an elongated block from four apartment buildings, in which he used a steel frame for the first time, which meant that the window areas could be enlarged and the living space could be used more variably. They became a much-lauded example of modern architecture, both functionally and formally. Together with his cousin, Le Corbusier designed two buildings for the estate and on this occasion invited Mies van der Rohe to attend the CIAM's founding congress . Another part of the exhibition was shown in the city center and dealt with modern home furnishings. Interior designer Lilly Reich was in charge of this . She had been a member of the board of the Deutscher Werkbund since 1920 and worked a lot with Mies van der Rohe. Here they jointly designed an exhibition area for the glass industry (“glass room”) with floor-to-ceiling glass partition walls and colored floor coverings for the Delmhorster linoleum works. A close professional and private partnership developed from this collaboration.

In 1928 Mies van der Rohe took part in four competitions without success, which now demonstrated the all-glass facade and the variable floor plan in a more realistic way and represented a further stage in the development of his high-rise buildings in the USA. The draft for the redesign of Alexanderplatz in Berlin-Mitte also showed its urban planning premises of roadworthiness and structural densification in large cities.

In mid-1928, Mies van der Rohe and Reich were commissioned with the artistic direction of the German department of the 1929 World Exhibition in Barcelona , primarily due to the great success of the Stuttgart Werkbund exhibition . They also designed some exhibition areas together here, and Mies van der Rohe added an official reception building. This almost purpose-free representative building became the main attraction of the entire world exhibition and has since been considered one of the most important works of modern architecture: the Barcelona Pavilion .

At the end of 1928 Mies van der Rohe began designing the Tugendhat House in Brno, Czech Republic , which was completed in 1930 and is also considered to be one of the major works of modern architecture. Today it is part of the United Nations World Heritage Site . The interior was designed in collaboration with Lilly Reich . Hand - knotted carpets made of raw wool were contributed by Alen Müller-Hellwig's hand-weaving mill in Lübeck.

Mies van der Rohe designed a range of furniture for a model apartment in the Weißenhofsiedlung as well as for the Barcelona Pavilion and the Tugendhat House. The best known are the cantilever chairs of the MR series, the Barcelona armchair , the Brno chair , the Tugendhat armchair , the rosewood lounger with a bolster and the glass table with a cross frame. Lilly Reich advised him on the selection of the cover materials.

New guard from Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Berlin-Mitte

In 1930 Mies van der Rohe won second place in the competition for the renovation of the Neue Wache by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in Berlin-Mitte as a memorial for those who died in the World War . His design envisaged a monumental interior with a flat black memorial stone, which was decorated on top with the German coat of arms and on the side with the simple inscription "DEN TOTEN". On the side walls of the interior there were two stone benches, in the rear wall there was a glass door through which the visitor from Unter den Linden would have seen the chestnut grove behind the Neue Wache. The same materials should be chosen for the Berlin Memorial as for the Barcelona Pavilion , namely floors made of light gray travertine and walls made of dark green Tinos .

Walter Gropius ' Bauhaus in Dessau , from 1930 briefly the new place of work for van der Rohe

End of the Republic and National Socialism

With the global economic crisis from 1929, a time of economic uncertainty began for Mies van der Rohe. In 1930 he accepted the appointment as director of the Bauhaus in Dessau and began his academic teaching. In 1931 he was accepted into the Prussian Academy of Arts . The Bauhaus in Dessau was closed for political reasons as early as 1932 by a newly elected city council with a National Socialist majority. Mies van der Rohe then set up the Bauhaus Berlin as a private institute in Berlin-Lankwitz , but had to give up in mid-1933 due to the increasing political pressure from the new Reich government of the National Socialists. The Bauhaus fought this because of some sympathy for socialism and the cultural conception represented there.

Memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht , Berlin-Friedrichsfelde 1926

Mies van der Rohe's attitude towards the new rulers was often criticized as opportunistic in the period that followed. In 1934 he joined the Reichskulturkammer one, on 18 August 1934, he signed the call of the cultural sector in support of Adolf Hitler in the Volkischer Beobachter , the same year he joined the National Socialist People's Welfare and participated in the exhibition Deutsches Volk-German working part ; His draft for the German contribution to the World Exhibition in Brussels (1934) can also be understood as a sign of his opportunism. The National Socialists, however, increasingly excluded him and in 1937 urged him to leave the Prussian Academy of the Arts. This made it clear that he was officially rejected. However, this was not related to a fundamental rejection of modernity by National Socialism, as recent research shows. Mies van der Rohe, however, expressly rejected politically determined art. Accordingly, his 1926 revolutionary memorial for Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht was not a political statement in favor of a socialist soviet republic , of which he was now suspected, but merely the artistic realization of the commemoration of two victims of arbitrary violence. He shares his misjudgments of political realities with several other artists. In his case, you may explain yourself with his disinterest in political issues, which friends have stated.

While Mies van der Rohe had a full-size model house built at the Berlin building exhibition in 1931 as part of the “The Apartment of Our Time” department, which he managed himself, combining the principles of the Barcelona Pavilion with residential purposes, it was later no longer for him possible to continue realizing this topic. From his designs from this time for non-built houses ( Gericke House 1932, Hubbe House 1935, U. Lange House 1935) and a small series of courtyard houses that he made as studies, it is easy to see how far the solutions he found for Barcelona were could have been further formulated and implemented in modern residential buildings. Apart from his proposal for the German pavilion at the 1935 World Exhibition in Brussels, his few other works from the 1930s seem comparatively reserved and conventional.

In 1932, the “Modern Architecture: International exhibition” of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the accompanying book (“The International Style”) made modern architecture widely known in the USA and aroused general interest. American universities increasingly tried to join this development, and so in 1936 Mies van der Rohe received an offer to apply for a chair in design at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and one to head the architecture department at the Armor Institute in Chicago.

In 1937 he made a trip to the USA, which took him via New York and Wyoming (Resor House project) to Chicago, where he successfully concluded negotiations with the Armor Institute. The considerable influence in the institute and the prospect of setting up an architecture office in Chicago without any problems were probably decisive for him. He returned to Germany one more time before finally moving to the United States in 1938. In 1944 he became an American citizen .

Modern in America

The Crown Hall on the IIT campus , Chicago 1956
Farnsworth House , Plano / Illinois 1950/51
Seagram Building , New York City 1958
New National Gallery , Berlin 1967

Mies van der Rohe has now resumed his academic teaching activities at the Armor Institute and was initially occupied with redesigning the training of students. The orientation towards the École des Beaux-Arts was abandoned and replaced by a teaching that developed from the manual to the planning to the theoretical (cf. “firmitas, utilitas, venustas” in Vitruvius ). He also brought two former Bauhaus colleagues to his faculty: Walter Peterhans , who came over from New York and set up the seminars for visual training, and Ludwig Hilberseimer , who emigrated from Germany and took over the urban planning department.

In 1939 Mies van der Rohe founded his architecture office in Chicago and, following the merger of the Armor Institute with the Lewis Institute to form the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), one year later he was commissioned to plan the new campus of this university. He designed a right-angled and green collection of low-storey institute buildings with visible steel structures and infills made of brick and glass, based on Chicago's development structure. He realized fifteen of these buildings himself over the years, including the Alumni Memorial Hall in 1946, St. Savior Chapel in 1952 and the Crown Hall in 1956 , which is considered one of his masterpieces in the USA. He also built another nine buildings for higher education institutions off campus. When he left the IIT in 1958, the collaboration with his office was finally ended.

In 1946 Mies van der Rohe met the project developer Herbert Greenwald, who wanted to build apartment houses across the country with a modern architect. By his death in 1969, this collaboration resulted in six large residential high-rise complexes. Of these, the two apartment buildings on Lake Shore Drive 860/880 in Chicago are probably the most famous. In 1951, Mies van der Rohe himself used a pure steel structure for the first time in high-rise construction and largely glazed the facades. He was supposed to keep this concept in the future for all high-rise buildings of comparable construction, but very soon he put the outer support structure post from the facade level back into the interior and hung the facade in front of it (curtain wall). Although this impaired the perception of the constructive logic he was striving for, it could no longer be implemented otherwise for reasons of building physics and building law. He designed the largest residential complex, Lafayette Park in Detroit from 1955, together with Ludwig Hilberseimer and Alfred Caldwell as a modern version of the garden city .

In 1947, Philip Johnson , director of the architecture department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, organized a retrospective of the work of Mies van der Rohe. Johnson let him design the exhibition. It was a great success and cemented its reputation in the United States. During this time he also worked on the plans for the weekend house of a doctor friend, which was then completed in 1951: Farnsworth House . Considered his first masterpiece in the United States, it became world famous and is now owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation .

In 1954 Mies van der Rohe was commissioned to plan his first high-rise office building, the Seagram Building in New York from 1958. It is also one of his masterpieces. The way in which the building was integrated into the urban situation was completely new and can then be found in a similar form in three of the following projects: the Chicago Federal Center from 1964, the Westmount Square Montreal from 1968 and the Toronto-Dominion Center from 1969. In all cases A public space is kept free in the middle of the city and surrounded by high-rise buildings, which merges almost seamlessly into the completely glazed ground floor zones of Mies van der Rohe's buildings and in this way connects them with each other and with the urban space. Here and also with individual freestanding office skyscrapers such as the One Charles Center in Baltimore from 1963 and the IBM Building in Chicago from 1969, Mies van der Rohe also shows a high degree of attention to the urban situation.

In the early 1960s, Mies van der Rohe received an offer from the Senate of (West) Berlin to plan the New National Gallery in the Kulturforum on Kemperplatz. Despite increasing health problems (arthritis) and restricted mobility, he worked intensively on this assignment and traveled several times to Berlin to visit the construction site. However, he was no longer able to attend the opening in 1968. The Neue Nationalgalerie is considered a masterpiece and stands at the end of a series of buildings and projects that thematize the pillarless, single-storey hall space, which should be a free and purely architectural space as a variable-use universal space without functional specifications. In most cases it only partially achieved this due to functional limitations. At the end in Berlin, as at the beginning in Chicago (Crown Hall, see above ), he succeeded almost completely.

In the last years of his life Mies van der Rohe was honored with many awards. Honorary doctorates, gold medals from architectural associations and the highest civil orders of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America are among them. The orders for his office became more and more numerous, he left a lot to his long-term employees and his grandson, the architect Dirk Lohan. With this he also conducted his last major interview, which unfortunately has only survived in fragments. In his will he ordered the continuation of his office under his name for five years for the liquidation of the buildings he had started.

Mies van der Rohe developed esophageal cancer at the end of his life and died within three days of pneumonia in the summer of 1969 at the Wesley Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the age of 83. His urn was buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.

Works (selection)


Lange House and Esters House , Krefeld 1927–1930
Lemke house today Mies van der Rohe house , Berlin-Hohenschönhausen 1933

Note: Buildings that may claim the “rank of buildings of creation” are shown in bold.

Highfield House, Baltimore 1964
Westmount Square, Montreal 1968
Toronto-Dominion Center , Toronto 1967 and 1969
  • Riehl House , Potsdam-Neubabelsberg (1907).
  • Perls House, Berlin (1911).
  • Werner House, Berlin (1913).
  • Urbig House, Potsdam-Neubabelsberg (1917).
  • Kempner House (destroyed), Berlin (1921–1923).
  • Eichstaedt House, Berlin (1921–1923).
  • Feldmann House (destroyed), Berlin (1921–1923).
  • Ryder House , Wiesbaden (1923).
  • Mosler House, Potsdam-Neubabelsberg (1924).
  • House Wolf (destroyed), Guben (Gubin) (1926).
  • The Revolution Monument (destroyed), Berlin-Friedrichsfelde cemetery (1926).
  • Multi-family houses on African Street, Berlin (1927).
  • Apartment buildings at Am Weißenhof , Stuttgart (1927).
  • Saul Adam office building, Berlin (1928).
  • Barcelona Pavilion Barcelona (1929, reconstruction 1986).
  • Lange House and Esters House , Krefeld (1927–1930).
  • Tugendhat House , Brno (1930).
  • Dyeing and HE building of the Vereinigte Seidenwebereien AG (Verseidag) Krefeld 1931, listed since 1999.
  • Trinkhalle (destroyed), Dessau (1932), reconstructed in the same place in the 2010s.
  • Lemke House (today Mies van der Rohe House), Berlin (1933).
  • Overall map of the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) campus , Chicago (1941).
  • Minerals and Metals Research Building (IIT), Chicago (1943).
  • Alumni Memorial Hall (IIT), Chicago (1946).
  • Perlstein Hall (IIT), Chicago (1946).
  • Promontory Apartments, Chicago (1949).
  • IIT power station, Chicago (1950).
  • Farnsworth House Plano (1951).
  • 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments Chicago (1951).
  • St. Savior Chapel (IIT), Chicago (1952).
  • Mc Cormick House, Elmhurst (1952).
  • Carman Hall (IIT), Chicago (1953).
  • Commons Building (IIT), Chicago (1953).
  • Morris Greenwald House, Westport (1953).
  • Cullinan Hall of the Museum of Fine Arts, Huston (1954).
  • Cunningham Hall and Bailey Hall (IIT), Chicago (1955).
  • Crown Hall Chicago (1956).
  • Master plan Lafayette Park, Detroit (1956).
  • Siegel Hall (IIT), Chicago (1957).
  • Seagram Building New York (1958).
  • Bacardi office building, Mexico City (1961).
  • Lafayette Towers, Detroit (1963).
  • 2400 Lakeview Apartments, Chicago (1963).
  • One Charles Center, Baltimore (1963).
  • Federal Center, Chicago (1964).
  • Highfield House, Baltimore (1964).
  • Meredith Memorial Hall (Drake University), Des Moines (1965).
  • University of Chicago Social Service Administration Building (1965).
  • Neue Nationalgalerie , Berlin (1967).
  • "Station-service de l'Île-des-Sœurs" petrol station, Montreal (1967–68).
  • Westmount Square, Montreal (1968).
  • Martin Luther King Memorial Library, Washington (1968).
  • Toronto-Dominion Center , Toronto (1967 and 1969).
  • IBM Regional Office Building, Chicago (1969).
  • Apartment Building No. 1 Île des Sœurs , Montreal (1969).
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (1972).
  • Brown Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1974).


  • "Glasraum" (with L. Reich) in "Die neue Wohnung", Stuttgart (1927)
  • Café "Velvet and Silk" (with L. Reich) for "Die Mode der Dame", representative stand of the Association of German Silk Weavers, Berlin, Funkhalle (1927)
  • Department of the Electrical Industry and Department of the Silk Industry (with L. Reich), Barcelona World Exhibition 1929
  • "German silk", (with Lilly Reich), pavilion of the German silk industry in the textile palace, world exhibition Barcelona 1929, Cologne 1930
  • "House for a childless couple" and "bachelor apartment" (both with L. Reich) in "Berlin building exhibition" (1931)
  • Glass and Mining Departments in "German People - German Work", Berlin (1934)
  • "Jose Guadalupe Posada" at the Art Institute Chicago (1946)
  • "Theo van Doesburg" for the "Renaissance Society" at the University of Chicago (1947)
  • Design of his own retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art , New York (1947)
  • Participation with some furniture at the documenta III in Kassel in the Industrial Design department (1964)

More work

The Barcelona armchair , for the German pavilion at the 1929 World Exhibition in Barcelona
  • Rosewood table and chair (1920)
  • Gravestone for Alois Riehl, Klein-Glienicke cemetery, Potsdam (1925)
  • Memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht (destroyed in 1935), Berlin-Friedrichsfelde (1926)
  • Weißenhof furniture (including cantilever chairs ) with L. Reich (1927)
  • Door handle for SA Loevy , Berlin (1928) (used in the Esters, Lange and Tugendhat houses, among others)
  • Barcelona furniture (including Barcelona armchairs ) with L. Reich (1929)
  • Tugendhat furniture (including Brno chair, Tugendhat armchair, rosewood lounger, glass table) with L. Reich (1930)
  • Interior of the Arts Club of Chicago (1951)

Projects and studies

  • Competition Bismarck Monument, Bingen (1910)
  • Kröller-Müller House, Wassenaar (1912)
  • Architect's House, Werder (1914)
  • Petermann House, Neubabelsberg (1921)
  • Competition high-rise Friedrichstrasse, Berlin (1921)
  • Glass tower, study (1922)
  • Lessing House, Potsdam (1923)
  • Office building in reinforced concrete, study (1923)
  • Country house in reinforced concrete, study (1923)
  • Brick country house, study (1924)
  • Traffic Tower on the Corner of Friedrich and Leipziger Strasse in Berlin, with Paul Mahlberg and Heinrich Kosina (1925)
  • Dexler House, Jena (1925)
  • Eliat House, Nedlitz (1925)
  • Saul Adam office building, Berlin (1928)
  • Württembergische Sparkasse bank building, Stuttgart (1928)
  • Competition for the renovation of Alexanderplatz, Berlin (1928)
  • Competition office building Friedrichstrasse, Berlin (1929)
  • Nolde House , Berlin (1929)
  • Competition interior Neue Wache, Berlin (1930)
  • Competition golf club house, Krefeld, Egelsberg (1930)
  • Hofhäuser, studies (1931-1940)
  • Gericke House, Berlin (1932)
  • Competition Reichsbank, Berlin (1933)
  • House in the Mountains, Study (1934)
  • House on a Platform, Study (1934)
  • Glass house on a hillside, study (1934)
  • Competition German Pavilion World Exhibition Brussels 1935 (1934)
  • Hubbe House, Magdeburg (1935)
  • House U. Lange, Krefeld (1935)
  • Office and dispatch building of the United Seidenwebereien AG (Verseidag) , Krefeld (1937–1939)
  • Resor House, Jackson Hole (1938)
  • Museum for a Small City, study (1942)
  • Concert Hall, study (1942)
  • Library and Administration Building (IIT), Chicago (1944)
  • Lecture hall building, sports hall, swimming pool (IIT), studies (1945)
  • Cantor Drive-In Restaurant, Indianapolis (1946)
  • 50 by 50 House, study (1951)
  • Steel Frame Prefabricated Row House, Study (1951)
  • Pi Lamda Fraternity House, Bloomington (1952)
  • Competition National Theater Mannheim (1953)
  • Convention Hall, Chicago (1954)
  • Sculptures for the Seagram Building Square, New York (1958)
  • Battery Park Apartments, New York (1958)
  • Marina Site Apartments, Los Angeles (1958)
  • Rimpau Site Apartments, San Francisco (1958)
  • Bacardi office building, Santiago (Cuba) (1958)
  • Georg Schäfer Museum, Schweinfurt (1959)
  • Office building Krupp, Essen (1963)
  • Foster City Apartments, San Mateo (1966)
  • Mansion House high-rise office building, London (1967)
  • Commerzbank office tower , Frankfurt am Main (1968)
  • King Broadcasting Studios, Seattle (1969)

Honors and awards (selection)

In memory of Mies van der Rohe, the Mies-van-der-Rohe School (vocational college for technology in the Aachen region) was named in his hometown of Aachen , and the pavilion was rebuilt in Barcelona in 1986 and the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture there in 1987 donated.

Streets in ten German cities are named after Mies van der Rohe (as of January 2018), including Aachen , Aldenhoven , Munich and Potsdam .

For its 100th birthday, the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin issued a special postage stamp in 1986 ( Michel catalog no. 753). The subject of special postage stamps are his buildings “German Pavilion Barcelona” (Deutsche Bundespost 1987, Michel catalog no. 1321) and “Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin” (Federal Republic of Germany 1997, Michel catalog no. 1907, block 37).


life and work

Stages of life

  • Harry N. Abrams, Phyllis Lambert (Eds.): Mies in America . Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal 2001, ISBN 0-920785-69-7 / Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2001, ISBN 3-7757-1076-0 .
  • Johannes Cramer, Dorothée Sack (ed.): Mies van der Rohe. Early buildings. Conservation Problems - Valuation Problems. (= Berlin Contributions to Building Research and Monument Preservation, Volume 1.) Michael Imhof, Petersberg 2004, ISBN 3-935590-96-2 .
  • Terence Riley, Barry Bergdoll (Ed.): Mies in Berlin. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Berlin years 1907–1938. (Exhibition catalog) Prestel, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7913-2817-4 .
  • Daniel Lohmann, Maike Scholz: coming years. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's earliest career steps and later connections in his hometown Aachen . In: INSITU Journal for Architectural History No. 2/2019 , Worms 2019, pp. 273–290.

Individual projects and projects by function

  • Helmut Erfurth, Elisabeth Tharandt: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The pump room. His only building in Dessau. Anhaltische Verlagsgesellschaft, Dessau 1995, ISBN 3-910192-28-9 .
  • Joachim Jäger: Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin , Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern 2011, ISBN 978-3-7757-3144-7 .
  • Christiane Lange: Mies van der Rohe. Architecture for the silk industry. Nicolai, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-89479-668-6 (German, English).
  • Christiane Lange, Robbrecht en Daem (Ed.): Mies 1: 1 Das Golfclub Projekt . Mies 1: 1 The Golfclub Project Verlag Buchhandlung König, Cologne 2014 (German, English)
  • Andreas Marx, Paul Weber: Conventional Context of Modernity. Mies van der Rohe's Kempner House 1921–1923. Starting point for a reassessment of the Friedrichstrasse high-rise In: Jürgen Wetzel (Ed.): Berlin in past and present. (= Yearbook of the Landesarchiv Berlin 2003.) Gebrüder Mann, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-7861-2475-2 , pp. 65-107.
  • Wolf Tegethoff: The villas and country house projects by Mies van der Rohe. Bacht, Essen 1981, ISBN 3-87034-033-9 .
  • Manfred Reuther, Rudolf Bertig: Nolde and Mies van der Rohe. (Project Haus Nolde) Seebüller Hefte 02/2012, Seebüll 2012, ISBN 978-3-00-037995-6 .
  • Piergiacomo Bucciarelli: Gli esordi di Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: Le case Riehl, Perls, Werner e Urbig a Potsdam e Berlino. In: Opus. Quaderno di storia, architettura, restauro. 12 (2013), pp. 343-356.

Interiors, furniture

  • Christian Gänshirt: Sharpen the instrument again. To the great hall of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. In: Bauwelt No. 39/2001, pp. 34–37
  • Christiane Lange: Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. Furniture and rooms. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2007, ISBN 978-3-7757-1920-9 . German and English.
  • Helmut Reuter, Birgit Schulte (ed.): Mies and the new living. Rooms, furniture, photography. Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern 2008, ISBN 978-3-7757-2220-9 (English-language edition: ISBN 978-3-7757-2221-6 ).
Architectural idea and theory in Mies
  • Sokratis Georgiadis et al. a .: Misunderstandings. In: Arch + Nr. 161, Aachen 2002,
  • Dirk Hensen: Less is more. On the idea of ​​abstraction in modern architecture. Buan, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-00-017306-4 .
  • Miron Mislin : Architectural theory and architectural idea with Mies van der Rohe. In: Transparent , Issue 10-12 / 1985, ISSN  0041-1302 .
  • Fritz Neumeyer: Mies van der Rohe. The artless word - thoughts on architecture. Siedler, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-88680-186-1 (2nd edition, Berlin 1995).
  • Franz Schulze (Ed.): Mies van der Rohe. Critical essays. New York 1989, ISBN 0-87070-569-5 .

Individual aspects

  • Werner Blaser: West meets East - Mies van der Rohe. 2nd, extended edition, Birkhäuser, Basel 2001, ISBN 3-7643-6458-0 .
  • Ruth Cavalcanti Braun: Mies van der Rohe as a garden architect. University press of the TU Berlion, Berlin University Library 2006, ISBN 3-7983-1971-5 .
  • Karin Festival, Sabrina Rahman, Marie-Noëlle Yazdanpanah (ed.): Mies van der Rohe, judges, Graeff & Co. everyday and design in the avant-garde magazine G . Turia + Kant, Vienna / Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-85132-736-6 .

Research projects

Since January 2011, the Central Institute for Art History in Munich has been developing an “Annotated Catalog of Furniture and Furniture Designs by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe” as part of a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Web links

Commons : Ludwig Mies van der Rohe  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Ludwig Mies van der Rohe  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. D. Lohmann, M. Scholz: To the New World. Ludwig Mies and his architectural youth in Aachen . In: docomomo Journal . No. 56 . docomomo International, Lisbon 2017, p. 6-15 .
  2. ^ C. Arthur Croyle: Hertwig: The Zelig of Design. ( Memento of June 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 9.3 MB) Culicidae Press, 2011, ISBN 978-0-557-72969-2 , p. 102 (teaser).
  3. Ina Brzoska: SAP founder Hasso Plattner bought the Churchill villa. Celebrities already live next door: The new neighbor In: Berliner Zeitung , February 27, 2009. Accessed on October 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Franz Schulze, Edward Windhorst: Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography, New and Revised Edition . University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2012, ISBN 978-0-226-75600-4 , pp. 138 .
  5. Long farewell . In: Der Spiegel . No. 23 , 1989 ( online ).
  6. See the overview with references to more recent research in Axel Schildt u. Detlef Siegfried, German cultural history. The Federal Republic from 1945 to the Present, Munich 2009, p. 89.
  7. Oliver Noffke: The man who made concrete float In: Der Stern , March 27, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  8. ^ Felix Neumeyer (ed.): Original sound: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Lohan tapes from 1969. DOM publishers, Berlin 2020, ISBN 978-3-86922-103-8 .
  9. ^ Fritz Neumeyer: Mies van der Rohe. The artless word. Thoughts on architecture . 2nd Edition. DOM publishers, Berlin 2016, p. 15 .
  10. cf. Fritz Neumeyer: Mies van der Rohe. The artless word. Thoughts on architecture . 2nd Edition. DOM publishers, Berlin 2016, p. 14th f .
  11. Housing complex on African Street. In: Landesdenkmalamt Berlin. Retrieved October 28, 2019 .
  12. June 27, 1925: The planned traffic tower in Berlin, corner of Leipzigerstrasse and Friedrichstrasse. by Dr.-Ing. Alfred Wedemeyer (PDF) In: Deutsche Bauzeitung , June 27, 1925, No. 51, p. 99 ff., 2 illustrations, accessed on January 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Search for Mies van der Rohe. In: Time Online , How Often Is Your Street There?
  14. ^ Members: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed April 15, 2019 .