Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York

About this talk

Running time: 51 minutes

Mies van der Rohe (1886 - 1969), one of the pioneering masters of 20th century architecture, talks about his education and background, his time at the Bauhaus, his relationship with Peter Behrens and his approach to architecture. The images that illustrate the interview are of the Seagram Building in New York, one of his most seminal buildings, designed in 1958.

In this rare interview, with a personalised introduction by John Peter, he recalls his early days, his most influential buildings, the Bauhaus and most importantly the vigorous philosophy behind his entire career.

Born in Aachen, Germany, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe attended the Cathedral Latin School while learning his strong respect for craftsmanship from his stonemason father. In 1905 he apprenticed to the leading Berlin cabinetmaker Bruno Paul and worked later in the architectural office of the designer architect Peter Behrens of AEG.

His many professional activities, his sketches and model for a stunning glass office tower on Berlin's Friedrichstrasse and the De Stijl-influenced plans for country houses established him as a leader of the modern architectural movement in post-World War I Germany.

Mies was the director of the Werkbund sponsored Weissenhof Exhibition in Stuttgart and designed on important apartment building for it. His famous German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona and the Tugendhat House in Bro, Czechoslovakia brought him world-wide recognition.

He served as the last director of the Bauhaus in an aggressively anti- modern Nazi climate and in 1933 left Germany for the United States. He accepted the directorship of what is now the Illinois Institute of Technology. His master plan and structurally explicit buildings for its Chicago campus as well as his Lake Shore Drive apartments rapidly established his prominence in the United States.

From his early buildings to his last, the New National Gallery in Berlin 1966, he expressed his genius in the art of architecture in an age of science and technology.

Please note that a transcript of this talk is available - please contact us for further details.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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