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Mies Van Der Rohe Chicago Buildings

The Promontory Lake Shore Drive

Mies Van Der Rohe Buildings in Chicago

The Promontory Apartments is a 22-story skyscraper in Hyde Park, Chicago, Illinois, that overlooks Promontory Point in Burnham Park and its Lake Michigan beaches. It is the first residential skyscraper Mies designed and the first of his buildings to feature concepts such as an exposed skeleton. An active community cooperative, the building which is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, has 122 units. Its building was initiated by developer Herbert Greenwald for wealthier occupants. Mies employed a Double T design with the horizontal cross-bars joined the stems of the T’s form wings to the rear. Each T is its own building with separate addresses, elevators, and interior stairways. This tripartite design would feature prominently in future Mies designs. Starting with the third story, each floor of each T has three apartments that share an elevator lobby. A solarium and party room on the roof provides excellent views of the park and beaches to the east, and the University of Chicago to the west.

Restoring Mies Van Der Rohe: 860

Project Synopsis

Widely recognized as one of the 20th Centurys most iconic residential projects, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive consists of two 26-story rectangular condominium buildings surrounded by an irregularly shaped travertine plaza. The steel and glass towers are connected by a covered walkway.

In addition to more than half a century of normal wear and tear, the buildings had endured several restoration attempts over the years. The problems included corrosion of the buildings exposed steel frame, failure of the lobby glazing system and extensive cracking and discoloration of the travertine plaza.

There were also aesthetic issues. The original frosted glass in the lobby had been replaced in the early 1980s by a laminate system with a translucent interlayer that created a historically inaccurate aquamarine tint.

The restoration included recoating the steel frame and cleaning the original aluminum windows. In addition, new sandblasted glass in the lobby recreated the soft, velvety look of the original.

Finally, the plaza was rebuilt, a process that included replacing the original travertine slabs, designing a new more or less invisible drainage system and recreating the original plaza lighting scheme.

Designed to take advantage of a 2008 tax credit, the project began in the summer of 2007 and was completed in December of 2009 at a cost of $9 million.

Text.- Krueck and Sexton Architects.

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Works Of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

Paper Type: Free Essay

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , a German-born architect is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture, responsible for establishing and popularizing a new architectural style in the U.S. Mies left Germany in 1938 to head the Armour Institute, which later became the Illinois Institute of Technology. His design of the Main Campus and of other important buildings, such as the apartment towers at 860 and 880 North Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and the Seagram Building in New York, helped set a new aesthetic standard for modern architecture. .Mies created an inspiring 20th century architectural style, stated with high clarity and simplicity. He carried the ideals of rationalism and minimalism to new levels. His work in US made use of modern materials such as steel and glass to define interior spaces.. He called his buildings skin and bones architecture. He wanted to achieve an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free flowing space. Mies Buildings in US radiate the confidence, rationality and elegance of their creator, free of ornamentation excess. His philosophy that less is more became a guideline for architects in the 20th century.

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Exterior, entry façade

Open plan of Crown hall, creating universal space.

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Hidden Mies Van Der Rohe

There is also a lesser-known piece of Miesian design in Chicago. His elegant floating staircase in the Arts Club building on Ontario Street. While I have studied Mies work in Chicago, I had never heard of this design for the Arts Club until I came upon a Blair Kamin article from 1993, which opens with this line: The setting: The elegantly spare lecture hall of The Arts Club of Chicago, designed by the late Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Ill have to admit I had no idea what floating meant exactly when I first read about it. This conjures images of the Jetsons and hovering machines, however the staircase only defies gravity in a more figurative sense. Like many of Mies works, the strong aura of originality has faded. His designs have been replicated to no end. On first glance it may not be so striking. But this staircase, which lightly darts from wall to wall, creates a weightless sensation. Very different from the heavy sweeping staircases of the past. It unites not just a lower floor and an upper floor, but elegantly pulls integrates all sides of the space.

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Chicagos history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secretsIm willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicagos rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

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What Is The Mies Society

The Mies Society is a membership organization devoted to strengthening architect Ludwig Mies van der Roheâs legacy by preserving his buildings on Illinois Institute of Technology campus and promoting engagement and fresh interpretations of his design principles in Chicago and beyond.

Mies van der Rohe Society 10 W. 35th Street, Suite 1700Chicago, IL 60616

Arts Club Of Chicago History

The Arts Club of Chicago, one of Chicagos many upscale private clubs, was founded in 1916. Its founders were lovers of the contemporary and avant garde arts movements. In other words, the hip and powerful hung out there. Members have included architect Helmut Jahn and Chicago icon Studs Terkel. The Club showed art that galleries and the Art Institute were not exhibiting. Before theMuseum of Modern Art of New York opened in 1929, the Club was the only exhibitor of European modern art in the country, and the first to show Pablo Picasso as well as many other prominent international artists. Wow.

The Arts Club has had several locations, including the Fine Arts Building and the Wrigley Building. The Arts Club, true to its modernist mission, commissioned Mies to design the interior space of a new building. 109 East Ontario, completed in 1951, has a gallery, restaurant, lounge, and the magnificent staircase. This is the only time that Mies created an interior for a building not of his own design.

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Mies Van Der Rohe And Bauhaus Architecture In Chicago Il

2019 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus, the famed German design school. It was founded in Weimar Germany in 1919. In 1926 it moved to Dessau and then to Berlin when the Nazis make it impossible to continue there.

It was a thriving school until the Nazis finally forced it to close in 1933. Its modernist, clean-line aesthetic still resonates today in everything from furniture design, to art and architecture. I first learned of the school when I visited the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin several years ago. You may know of the famous Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer with its clean lines or the furniture or art by Josef Albers. Albers was an instructor and the artistic director in the furniture workshop from 1926 to 1927. Throughout its 14 year history, it was headed by three directors, the architects Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Chicago has a special connection with the school. One of the faculty members, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, moved to Chicago in 1937 and set up the New Bauhaus on Prairie Ave., which was open for a year. He then went to IIT to start the Institute of Design.

IIT: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the last director of the Bauhaus in Germany, came to Chicago and became head of architecture at IIT. He designed many buildings on the campus which you can tour today.

In addition to Crown Hall, the campus encompasses 20 of his buildings, the greatest concentration of Mies-designed buildings in the world.

Career In The United States

The Simple Idea by Mies van der Rohe that Changed Chicago

Mies settled in Chicago, Illinois, where he was appointed head of the architecture school at Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology . One of the benefits of taking this position was that he would be commissioned to design the new buildings and master plan for the campus. All his buildings still stand there, including Alumni Hall, the chapel, and his masterpiece the S.R. Crown Hall, built as the home of IIT’s School of Architecture.

In 1944, he became an American citizen, completing his severance from his native Germany. His thirty years as an American architect reflect a more structural, pure approach toward achieving his goal of a new architecture for the twentieth century. He focused his efforts on enclosing open and adaptable “universal” spaces with clearly arranged structural frameworks, featuring prefabricated steel shapes filled in with large sheets of glass.

His early projects at the IIT campus, and for developer Herbert Greenwald, presented to Americans a style that seemed a natural progression of the almost forgotten nineteenth century Chicago School style. His architecture, with origins in the German Bauhaus and western European International Style, became an accepted mode of building for American cultural and educational institutions, developers, public agencies, and large corporations.

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A Hidden Piece Of Mies In Chicago

Many of us are familiar with at least the name of Mies van der Rohe. His iconic modernist buildings in Chicago include IITs campus, including the sublime Crown Hall, 860-880 Lake Shore Drive, and the Federal Center. But would it surprise you to learn theres a hidden work by Mies tucked away in downtown Chicago?

We research stories from Chicago history, architecture and culture like this while developing our live virtual tours, in-person private tours, and custom content for corporate events. You can join us to experience Chicagos stories in-person or online. We can also create custom tours and original content about this Chicago topic and countless others.

Less Is More: 10 Buildings By Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

With his glass-and-metal creations and his iconic Barcelona chair, Mies sought to establish a new architectural ethos that would represent modern times. His work was the cornerstone for the Museum of Modern Art’s 1932 exhibition, “The International Style”curated by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcockwhich brought the modernist movement to a wider audience and solidified his role as a leader. His legacy lives on through his influential ideology, which proves thatas the architect once stated”less is more.”

Farnsworth House

Plano, Illinois

One of the most significant of Mies’ works, the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois, was built between 1945 and 1951 for Dr. Edith Farnsworth as a weekend retreat. The home embraces his concept of a strong connection between structure and nature, and may be the fullest expression of his modernist ideals.

The Barcelona Pavilion

Barcelona, Spain

Designed by Mies van der Rohe as part of the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain, The Barcelona Pavilion showcased his iconic Barcelona chair for Knoll and introduced architecture’s new modern movement to the world.

Chicago Federal Complex

Chicago, Illinois

Crown Hall

Chicago, Illinois

Washington D.C.

Seagram Building

New York, New York

860-880 North Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, Illinois

Lafayette Park

Detroit, Michigan

Cullinan Hall at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Houston, Texas

Neue Nationalgalerie

Berlin, Germany

Shop Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Designs

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Mies Building At Indiana University In Bloomington Indiana

In 1952, a fraternity commissioned Mies to design a building on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Indiana. The plan was not realized during his lifetime, but the design was rediscovered in 2013, and in 2019 the university’s Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design announced they would be constructing it with blessing of his grandchildren. The building is scheduled to open in September 2021.

Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe

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In This Section

Its difficult to imagine what the skyline of Chicago might look like without architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He influenced an entire generation of architects while tenured as head of the architecture department at the Illinois Institute of Technology . During his 60-year career, Mies established a design vocabulary that helped define Mid-Century Modern architecture.

Mies did not design buildings with a particular style in mind. For him, the philosophy came first. How a building looked was purely an expression of its era and its materials. As he explained, I am not interested in the history of civilization. I am interested in our civilization. We are living it. Because I really believe, after a long time of working and thinking and studying that architecture…can only express this civilization we are in and nothing else.

When Mies arrived in the United States in 1938, he was already internationally known and established in his field. He designed one of his most famous buildingsthe Barcelona Pavilionas the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Spain. Its a magnificent example of his trademark emphasis on open space. Soon after that success, he served as director of the Bauhaus, the school of design in Germany. He elected to close the school in 1933 and eventually left his home country due to mounting pressure from the growing Nazi regime.

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Museum Of Fine Arts Houston

Mies designed two buildings for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as additions to the Caroline Wiess Law Building. In 1953, the MFAH commissioned Mies van der Rohe to create a master plan for the institution. He designed two additions to the buildingCullinan Hall, completed in 1958, and the Brown Pavilion, completed in 1974. A renowned example of the International Style, these portions of the Caroline Wiess Law Building comprise one of only two Mies-designed museums in the world.

Inspiration: Mies Van Der Rohe

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect. Along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture.

In the 1930s, Mies was the last director of the Bauhaus, a ground-breaking school of modernist art, design, and architecture. After Nazism’s rise to power, with its strong opposition to modernism , Mies emigrated to the United States. He accepted the position to head the architecture school at what is today the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

Mies sought to establish his own particular architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. The style he created made a statement with its extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of unobstructed free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture. He sought an objective approach that would guide the creative process of architectural design but was always concerned with expressing the spirit of the modern era. He is often associated with his fondness for the aphorisms “less is more” and “God is in the details”.

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Later Years And Death

Over the last twenty years of his life, Mies developed and built his vision of a monumental “skin and bones” architecture that reflected his goal to provide the individual a place to fulfill himself in the modern era. Mies sought to create free and open spaces, enclosed within a structural order with minimal presence. In 1963, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mies van der Rohe died on August 17, 1969, from esophageal cancer caused by his smoking habit. After cremation, his ashes were buried near Chicago’s other famous architects in Chicago‘s Graceland Cemetery. His grave is marked by an intentionally unadorned, clean-line black slab of polished granite and a large honey locust tree.

Mies Van Der Rohe Chicago Promontory Apartment Building Blueprints1947

The Dedication of Edith Abbott Hall at the University of Chicago
Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969
2 linear feet
Access to materials

This collection is open for research access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

The Mies van der Rohe Chicago Promontory Apartment Building Blueprints consists of a set of blueprints for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1947 Promontory Apartment Building in Chicago, Illinois.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was considered one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture. Born in Aachen, Germany, Mies emigrated to Chicago, Illinois, in 1938. That same year, he became Director of the Department of Architecture at Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology. He designed many of the buildings on the campus, including the S. R. Crown Hall, the Chapel, and the Alumni Hall. The 1947 Promontory Apartment Building in Chicago, a 22-story skyscraper in Hyde Park, was one of his many modernist high-rise designs throughout the city. The Promontory Apartment Building was unique, as it was his very first skyscraper design and the first to feature his exposed skeleton concept. Some of Mies’ other works include the 1929 German Pavilion, buildings for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Berlin National Gallery.

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