Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Tall Building (continued): Glass Skyscrapers - Mies van der Rohe

Friedrichstrasse Skyscraper Project, Berlin, 1921 (left), and Study for a Glass Skyscraper, 1926 (right) - Mies van der Rohe.

Bold for their time, and known chiefly in teh form of these iconic stark charcoal, ink and pencil drawings (they were never built), these striking buildings would became the 'cutting edge' of US tall-building design some thirty years later, when as Tom Wolfe described it, "row upon Mies van der Rohe of glass skyscrapers" were built along the Chicago lakefront," all over Manhattan, and out across the cities of America.

Mies's intention in cladding the buildings completely in glass was to "preserve them in their most beautiful state." You may draw your own conclusions from the fact that neither this "beautiful state" nor these beautiful drawings includes people.

LINKS: Mies in Berlin - Museum of Modern Art
Plans and comments - La Defense

TAGS: Architecture

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