The Jewish family who commissioned it from the pioneering architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was forced to flee Brno before World War II. the house was occupied by the Gestapo and then ravaged by Soviet troops. It became a dance school, a hospital for
Google's doodle today pays tribute to legendary German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe on his 126th birth anniversary. the building in the doodle is the SR Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago,
Born: March 27, 1886 in Aachen, Germany Died: August 17, 1969 Full Name: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Adopted his mother's maiden name, van der Rohe, when he opened his practice in 1912.
Who was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe? Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a great architect born on 27 March 1886, he was widely known as MIES ( his surname). he has created many great architect designs which were pillars in
Mies — whose name belongs beside those two other modern masters, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier — helped build a new architectural grammar. Today, Google honors Ludwig Mies van der Rohe — that German giant of post-World War I architecture — with a
There is an old, and outdated, adage that behind every successful man stands a wise woman.
Old and outdated as the adage may be; it is very apposite in the story of Knoll Inc.
Established in New York in 1937 by Hans G. Knoll the company struggled to establish itself in the, admittedly difficult, US market of the day, and aside from pieces by the New York based Danish designer Jens Risom didn’t have that much to offer.
Then in 1941 Hans G. Knoll met Florence Schust.
Not only did she become Florence Knoll in 1946; but it was Florence who persuaded Hans that the future of the company lay in designs by architects. And a such transformed the fortunes of the firm.
We recently stumbled across an interview with Florence Knoll originally published in the magazine Metropolis in 2001.1 an interview in which she speaks in some detail about the early years of Knoll Associates.
And how she was responsible for persuading her friend and former tutor Mies van der Rohe to join Knoll.
“was that hard?” asks interviewer Paul Makovsky.
“yes, it was.” replied Florence.
But Florence knew how to win him over……
“I told him, “I promise you we will never allow any outrageous colors or materials to be used on your furniture.””
The rest as they say is history. And the most iconic furniture design classics it’s possible to imagine.
If we’re honest we are unsure as to the reason for his reluctance. And the interview sadly doesn’t offer any further explanation.
What we do know is that despite his unquestionable bon vivre, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was an intensely private man who never saw himself as a role model and who lived much more conservatively than many imagine. And certainly than his buildings would tend to imply.
Also, for Mies van der Rohe architecture wasn’t just designing buildings, it was about designing buildings for the period; about creating a new type of architecture for the 20th century.
As such we suspect that he simply didn’t want to be seen as a furniture designing architect in the style of Eames or Saarinen. not only was this a status he simply didn’t aspire to; but also wasn’t why he designed furniture.
The Barcelona Chair had been created for a project. to fit in with a building. As a one-off.
They weren’t created for a mass public. And certainly weren’t created to be placed ad-hoc in any old space. Far less altered to meet the moods and fashions of future ages.
If we’re right this would of course fit in very well with architects such as Egon Eiermann or Arne Jacobsen who pre-war were very precious about their furniture being exclusively for the buildings they were designed for.
Post-war of course both Eiermann and Jacobsen were much more open to the idea of mass market furniture production. Mies van der Rohe wasn’t. he remained an architect and his furniture oeuvre remained confined to those objects he designed for his projects.
And would have remained exclusively so had Florence Knoll not managed to persuaded him to make them available to the wider public.
Something she could do because she knew and understood the man Mies van der Rohe.
1. “Shu U” by Paul Makovsky, Metropolis July 2001 metropolismag.com/html/content_0701/kno/index.html. Accessed 14.03.2012
Tags: Florence Knoll, Mies van der Rohe
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