Thursday, 11 February 2010

'Brick Country House' - Mies van der Rohe, 1923


This  wonderfully free-flowing 1923 'pinwheel' plan for a country house project by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe combines elements of Frank Lloyd Wright, De Stijl Art (see below left for example from 1918), Berlage and Malevich.

The plan itself is almost pure abstraction.  Rather than cutting up space into little boxes, walls thrust out into the landscape--almost as Frank Lloyd Wright first had them do a generation earlier--only here in this house they are simpler and the whole composition less 'centred'; they 'hold' space rather than 'grasp' it, and being less ordered their reach is less centrifugal, and the thrust correspondingly less.

The elevations themselves are less successful -- Mies was still working out how to roof such a plan (something he worked out with his 'floating roof' of the Barcelona Pavilion) -- but it's fair to say that with this floor plan a new thing was brought into the world.

It was a plan that fully justified a 'Eureka!'

1 comment:

  1. I almost died when I saw you namechecking Malevich! A fine house indeed, this one.



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