Mies van der Rohe
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.
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.
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.