In honor of German-born architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 126th birthday we would like to say, Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, Mies! To celebrate the German master of post WWI architecture, we'd like to share a couple of our favorite highlights in the life and career of one of the 20th century's greatest architects and designers.
Barcelona PavilionDesigned in 1929 as the German national pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition, Mies' Barcelona Pavilion is a site not to be forgotten. Built from glass, steel and different kinds of marble, the Pavilion was conceived to accommodate the official reception presided over by King Alphonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities. After the exhibition the Pavilion was disassembled. In 1980, efforts were put into motion to reconstruct the Barcelona Pavilion based on Mies' original design on the actual site that the structure had stood in 1929. The recreated design was finished in 1986 and used the same materials: glass, steel and four different kinds of marble. One of Mies' most recognizable creations, the Barcelona Chair, was introduced with the Barcelona Pavilion. Also designed in 1929, this popular chair brought elegance and new life to the otherwise monotonous materials of steel and leather making it an icon of modern design.
"Our built environment is meant to be lived in. Mies' buildings, beyond merely affecting our lives, endow them with greater significance and beauty. His buildings radiate the confidence, rationality, and elegance of their creator and, free of ornamentation and excess, confess the essential elements of our lives. In our time, where there is no limit to excess, Mies' reductionist approach is as pertinent as ever. As we reduce the distractions and focus on the essential elements of our environment and ourselves, we find they are great, intricate, and beautiful. Less is more."