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Mies Van Der Rohe, un génie de l’architecture – « Less is more »

Mies van der Rohe incarne le tournant du Bauhaus des années 1930. Alors que sous la pression des nazis, le maire de Dessau est conduit à renvoyer l’école, Mies van der Rohe prend la relève. L’école devient ainsi privée et espère vivre de la vente de ses produits manufacturés. Mies van der Rohe sera fortement critiqué pour avoir accepté certains compromis avec le nazisme. Il migrera en 1937 aux Etats-Unis où il développera son architecture en « cube de verre ».

 Plus connu sous le nom de «pavillon de Barcelone», le pavillon d’exposition du Reich est l’une des oeuvres majeures de Mies. Conçu vers la fin des années 1920, âge d’or d’une Allemagne qui avait perdu la guerre, encore en proie aux troubles sociaux et à la misère économique, il devait servir à présenter au monde une nouvelle image du pays: celle d’un état prospère, pacifique, démocratique et à l’avant-garde en matière de culture. Dans cet esprit le pavillon de Barcelone peut alors être interprété comme un fervent hommage rendu par Mies, à travers l’architecture moderne, à l’Allemagne de la république de Weimar.

Les pas décisifs que Mies accomplit avec le pavillon de Barcelone résidaient dans la réalisation du «plan libre» et de «l’espace fluide» auxquels il donna ici pour la première fois toute leur ampleur. L’édifice était posé, tel un temple antique, sur un socle en travertin. Un mur en forme de U, traité dans le même matériau, délimitait l’espace coté sud, et rejoignait un petit bâtiment annexe. La partie sud-est de l’ensemble était aménagée avec un grand bassin, dont le contour était défini uniquement par les dalles du sol. Celles-ci s’avancaient au-dessus de l’eau, si bien que le bassin semblait se prolonger sous le socle. Côté nord, un mur de marbre vert, en forme de U également, bordait un patio agrémenté d’un second bassin, plus petit. Le toit du pavillon était plat, posé sur de minces poteaux en acier chromé, de section cruciforme. Il donnai l’impression d’être suspendu dans l’air, ce qui soulignait le caractère non porteur des murs. Ces plans verticaux, réalisés dans des matériaux précieux (marbre de Tinos ou vert antique, onyx doré) ou en verre de différentes couleurs (gris, vert, blanc, transparant), séparaient de manière sublime les divers espaces; ils semblaient glisser entre le toit et le socle et créaient, d’une manière à peine sensible, une transition entre l’intérieux et l’extérieur.

Crown Hall (IIT Campus)

1956

Chicago, IIT, Chapel

Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Project, Berlin-Mitte, Germany,Exterior perspective from northLudwig Mies van der Rohe, architecte, 1921.

© Mies van der Rohe/Gift of the arch./MoMA/Scala

La villa Tugendhat de Brno

L’architecte allemand Ludwig Mies van der Rohe a réalisé la Villa Tugendhat (1930), située à Brno, et considérée comme la plus importante et la plus belle construction fonctionnaliste en République tchèque. Depuis 2001, elle est même classée sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO qui dit que cette construction est « un exemple remarquable du style international dans le mouvement moderne en architecture tel qu’il s’est développé en Europe au cours des années 1920. » La structure est en acier et, un classique de l’Allemand, il n’y a pas de mur porteur.

Chicago, IIT, IIT Apartments

townhouses and high-rise in Lafayette Park

 

Ludwig Mies van der RoheOne of the most influential architects of the 20th century, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe rejected an academic education. He learnt his craft in the office of Peter Behrens-one of his fellow-students there being Le Corbusier.

Office buildings and exhibition pavilions, factories and museums, private houses and libraries … in the six decades of his career, Mies van der Rohe continually discovered new challenges, whether in Berlin, Chicago, New York or Stuttgart..

“Jerusalem” in Stuttgart

True to his motto that “only today can be given form,” in 1927 he took over the artistic direction of the Weissenhof Settlement in Stuttgart. Nothing less was presented there than the future of building, on the occasion of the exhibition Die Wohnung. The principles Mies van der Rohe and 16 other architects had adopted were made clear by this “model settlement”: the 21 houses, containing 63 apartments under flat roofs, were bare of decoration.

The enthusiasm of public and press was muted, and even their fellow architects were critical: “In multifarious horizontal terraces, uninhabitably crowded together, a heaping of low-lying cubes throngs up a hillside, reminiscent rather of a suburb of Jerusalem than of apartments for Stuttgart… an Arab village.”

Pure Architecture

In 1929 he created for the Spanish port of Barcelona an exhibition pavilion that demonstrated his continuing development of Bauhaus architecture. Here architecture has been reduced to absolute basics: a few plain walls and a large, flat roof. The freestanding steel pillars and the stone walls are mirrored in two pools of water, while interior and exterior space are linked rather than separated by large areas of glass.

Rectangular forms, flat roofs, transparency-the architect continued to be true to his clear, rationalistic building concepts. In 1938 he emigrated to the United States. There, together with Herbert Green-wald, he created large residential high-rise complexes, such as the apartment houses on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Reduced to a structural skeleton, these buildings are pure steel constructions, with extensively glazed facades. As early as 1923 the Berlin-born Mies had clarified his views on modern office architecture: “The materials are concrete, iron, glass.

Reinforced concrete buildings are skeleton buildings by their nature. Neither pastry nor armored tanks.” The Seagram Building, completed in 1958 on New York’s Park Avenue, the architect’s first office high-rise, also speaks volumes in this respect. Mies van der Rohe’s office towers at the same time fit harmoniously into the urban space that surrounds them—the glass fronts of the lower stories merge seamlessly into the squares around them.

Major works of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Canada
– Toronto-Dominion Centre – Office Tower Complex, Toronto
– Westmount Square – Office & Residential Tower Complex, Westmount
– Nuns’ Island – 3 Residential towers and a filling station (closed), Montreal (c.1969)

Czech Republic
– Tugendhat House – Residential Home, Brno

Germany
– Riehl House – Residential Home, Potsdam (1907)
– Perl House – Residential Home, Zehlendorf (1911)
– Werner House – Residential Home, Zehlendorf (1913)
– Urbig House – Residential Home, Potsdam (1917)
– Kempner House – Residential Home, Charlottenburg (1922)
– Eichstaedt House – Residential Home, Wannsee (1922)
– Feldmann House – Residential Home, Wilmersdorf (1922)
– Mosler House – Residential Home, Babelsberg (1926)
– Weissenhof Estate – Housing Exhibition coordinated by Mies and with a contribution by him, Stuttgart (1927)
– Lemke House – Residential Home, Weissensee (1932)
– Haus Lange/Haus Ester – Residential Home and an art museum, Krefeld
– New National Gallery – Modern Art Museum, Berlin

Mexico
– Bacardi Office Building – Office Building, Mexico City

Spain
– Barcelona Pavilion – World’s Fair Pavilion, Barcelona

United States
– Cullinan Hall – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
– The Promontory Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Chicago
– Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library – District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, DC
– Richard King Mellon Hall of Science – Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (1968)
– IBM Plaza – Office Tower, Chicago
– Meredith Hall – College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
– Lake Shore Drive Apartments – Residential Apartment Towers, Chicago
– Seagram Building – Office Tower, New York City (1958)
– Crown Hall – College of Architecture, and other buildings, at the Illinois Institute of Technology (1956)
– University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration – Chicago, IL (1965)
– Farnsworth House – Residential Home, Plano, Illinois (1946)
– Chicago Federal Center
– Dirksen Federal Building – Office Tower, Chicago
– Kluczynski Federal Building – Office Tower, Chicago
– United States Post Office Loop Station – General Post Office, Chicago
– One Illinois Center – Office Tower, Chicago
– One Charles Center – Office Tower, Baltimore, Maryland
– Highfield House Condominium | 4000 North Charles – Condominium Apartments, Baltimore, Maryland
– Colonnade and Pavilion Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Newark, New Jersey (1959)
– Lafayette Park – Residential Apartment Complex, Detroit, Michigan (1963).[6]
– Commonwealth Promenade Apartments – Residential Apartment Complex, Chicago (1957)
– Caroline Weiss Law Building, Cullinan Hall (1958) and Brown Pavilion (1974) additions, Museum of Fine Art, Houston
– Richard King Mellon Building (1968) at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
– American Life Building – Louisville, Kentucky (1973; completed after Mies’s death by Bruno Conterato)

Lake Shore Drive construction

Weissenhof-Siedlung

One Comment

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    vendredi, juillet 12, 2013 at 1 h 23 min | Permalink

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