Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

Knoll Designer Bios Ludwig Mies van der Rohe b. Germany1886-1969 Regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s ‘less-is-more’ approach to design was the gold standard for many generations of modern architecture. His legendary career started humbly at his father’s stonemasonry business, giving him an early appreciation of material and structure. From there he apprenticed with furniture designer Bruno Paul in Berlin before joining the office of Peter Behrens, an architect and painter at the forefront of the modern movement. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, 1929. Image from the Knoll Archive. In 1912, Mies established his own office in Berlin. Through furniture, residential projects and extraordinary, yet unrealized concepts for skyscrapers, he gained recognition as a leader of the German modern movement. As such, he was selected to design the German Pavilion at the Barcelona Industrial Exposition of 1929. His design, a rhythmic arrangement of horizontal and vertical planes of glass, stone and metal was an experiment in free flowing space. With no discernible distinction between rooms or inside and outside, the design fundamentally challenged the architectural ‘boxes within a box’ standard of the time. Inside, Mies included the Barcelona Chair and Ottoman, designed to offer the King and Queen of Spain to a place to rest (they in fact never sat down). The Barcelona Pavilion and the chairs it contained are universally recognized as milestones of modern design. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Collection in Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan. Image from the Knoll Archive. Mies served as Vice President of the Deutsher Werkbund and Director of the Bauhaus from 1930 until it closed in 1933. He immigrated to the United States in 1938 to become the director of architecture at the Armour Institute (later the Illinois Institute of Technology). From his Chicago-based practice, Mies designed a portfolio of buildings that changed the face of American institutional architecture ― the most notable examples being the IIT campus and the Seagram Building in New York. While at IIT he befriended and mentored a young Florence Knoll. Florence has always credited Mies as her most influential instructor, and, in 1948, Mies granted Knoll exclusive rights to produce his furniture, including the Barcelona collection, the Brno chair, and MR series. The production of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair. Image from the Knoll Archive.
mies van der rohe chair 1

Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe GERMANY (1886–1969) The modern city, with its towers of glass and steel, can be at least in part attributed to the influence of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Equally significant, if smaller in scale, is Mies’ daring design of furniture, pieces that exhibit an unerring sense of proportion as well as minimalist forms and exquisitely refined details. In fact, his chairs have been called architecture in miniature – exercises in structure and materials that achieve an extraordinary visual harmony as autonomous pieces and in relation to the interiors for which they were designed. Mies van der Rohe began his career in architecture in Berlin, working first in the studio of Bruno Paul and then, like Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, for Peter Behrens. In 1927, a housing project called Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart, Germany, would bring these names together again. Widely believed to be one of the most notable projects in the history of modern architecture, it includes buildings by Gropius, Corbu, Behrens, Mies and others. In 1928, Mies and his companion and colleague, designer and Bauhaus alumna Lilly Reich, were asked to design the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. The purpose of the Pavilion was to provide a location that could be visited by the king and queen of Spain during the opening of the Exposition. With that in mind, Mies designed a modern throne – known today as the Barcelona® Chair – for their majesties. In the following year, Mies designed another notable chair, the Brno, with a gravity-defying cantilevered base. In 1930, Mies succeeded Walter Gropius as the director of the Bauhaus, where he stayed until the school closed in 1933. In 1937, Mies emigrated from Europe to the United States, and a year later became the director of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The rest of his career was devoted to promoting the modernist style of architecture in the United States, resulting in rigorously modern buildings such as the Farnsworth House and the Seagram Building, designed with Philip Johnson. Artist photo from 1000 Chairs courtesy of Taschen. Explore All Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Designs
mies van der rohe chair 2

Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (German, 1886–1969) Learn More About Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (German, 1886–1969) Architect, furniture designer and educator, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a central figure in the advancement and promotion of Modernist design and architectural theory and practice. Like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, he was a hugely influential presence in the field, who shaped the course of 20th-century architecture both through his buildings and his teaching of rationalist design principles.      Born in the medieval German city of Aachen, Mies found an interest in architecture as a boy while working for his father, a master stonemason. He had no formal education as an architect, but learned his skills as an apprentice to the designer Bruno Paul, and as a staffer in the office the proto-modernist architect and designer Peter Behrens. Following World War I, Mies rose to prominence in his field amid the liberal atmosphere of the Weimar Republic. His reputation was secured by his design for the German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona (commonly referred to as his Barcelona Pavilion), a radically simple, poetic, open-plan building pared down to its architectural essentials. Mies would go on to direct the Bauhaus from 1930 until 1933, when Nazi-government interference forced the closure of the progressive art and design school. Later that decade, he made his way to Chicago, where he remained for the rest of his career as a practicing architect and a dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology.      Mies’s famed dictum “less is more” grew from his belief that architecture both guides and expresses the spirit of the times, and he envisioned the 20th century as open-minded, logical, transparent and liberated by technology. His best-known buildings — residences such as the Villa Tugendhat in Czechoslovakia and the Farnsworth House in rural Illinois; skyscrapers like the 860–880 Lake Shore Drive apartment towers in Chicago and the Seagram Building in New York — reflect that philosophy. As do his most famous furniture designs. Mies pieces such as the Barcelona chair, chaise and stools, or the cantilevered Brno chairs, deliver a maximum of comfort and support from a minimum of materials: their “lavishness” derives from the precision with which they are engineered and constructed. For the collector, the allure of Mies’s furniture is at once practical and idealistic. Useful and functional, his works embody the highest aspirations of modernism.
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Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

The architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the best-known exponents of International Style modernism. His “less-is-more” philosophy has become a catchphrase for much twentieth-century design, though a preference for luxurious and costly materials often underscores the deceptive simplicity of his elegant and refined designs. Mies van der Rohe’s early architectural career in Berlin included training in the office of Bruno Paul from 1905 until 1907 and in the office of Peter Behrens from 1908 until 1911 (where his co-workers included Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius). He opened his own practice in Berlin in 1913 and soon developed a personal architectural idiom that combined the cool rationalism of the nineteenth-century German architect Karl Friederich Schinkel with the pure formalism of the International Style.From 1926 until 1932 Mies van der Rohe was vice president of the Deutsche Werkbund, an association of designers and architects whose principal aim was the development of well-designed, mass-producible architecture and household objects by way of an alliance of art and industry. In 1927 the Werkbund presented the influential exhibition “Die Wohnung” (The Dwelling), which included the Weissenhof Siedlung (Weissenhof Housing Estate), an experimental group of model apartment buildings built in a suburb of Stuttgart. Under Mies van der Rohe’s direction, a number of important architects, including Mart Stam and Marcel Breuer, collaborated on the project, designing furniture for the apartments. This graceful, elegant, and beautifully proportioned “MR” chair, developed from a 1924 design for a cantilevered chair by Mart Stam, was introduced by Mies van der Rohe at the 1927 Stuttgart exhibition and has remained in production ever since.Mies van der Rohe was the last director of the Bauhaus design school in Dessau, from 1930 until its closing in 1932. In 1938 he left Germany for America, where he headed the architecture department at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
mies van der rohe chair 4

Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe GERMANY (1886–1969) The modern city, with its towers of glass and steel, can be at least in part attributed to the influence of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Equally significant, if smaller in scale, is Mies’ daring design of furniture, pieces that exhibit an unerring sense of proportion as well as minimalist forms and exquisitely refined details. In fact, his chairs have been called architecture in miniature – exercises in structure and materials that achieve an extraordinary visual harmony as autonomous pieces and in relation to the interiors for which they were designed. Mies van der Rohe began his career in architecture in Berlin, working first in the studio of Bruno Paul and then, like Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, for Peter Behrens. In 1927, a housing project called Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart, Germany, would bring these names together again. Widely believed to be one of the most notable projects in the history of modern architecture, it includes buildings by Gropius, Corbu, Behrens, Mies and others. In 1928, Mies and his companion and colleague, designer and Bauhaus alumna Lilly Reich, were asked to design the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. The purpose of the Pavilion was to provide a location that could be visited by the king and queen of Spain during the opening of the Exposition. With that in mind, Mies designed a modern throne – known today as the Barcelona® Chair – for their majesties. In the following year, Mies designed another notable chair, the Brno, with a gravity-defying cantilevered base. In 1930, Mies succeeded Walter Gropius as the director of the Bauhaus, where he stayed until the school closed in 1933. In 1937, Mies emigrated from Europe to the United States, and a year later became the director of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. The rest of his career was devoted to promoting the modernist style of architecture in the United States, resulting in rigorously modern buildings such as the Farnsworth House and the Seagram Building, designed with Philip Johnson. Artist photo from 1000 Chairs courtesy of Taschen.

Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

Mies Van Der Rohe Chair
Mies Van Der Rohe Chair

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