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fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Watson, V.A. (2016)
Publisher: Ancient Monuments Society
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: UOWABE
This paper investigates relationships between modernity and monumentality in the architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In his Modern Architecture, the critic and historian Kenneth Frampton separated Mies’ work into two historical periods, 1921-1933 and 1933-1967; the first he entitled ‘Mies van der Rohe and the significance of fact,’ the second ‘Mies van der Rohe and the monumentalisation of technique.’ The two historical periods correspond to two different geopolitical phases of Mies’ career, the first in Weimar Germany the second in the United States. By looking at a number of designs and texts made by Mies in the 1930’s and 1940’s, this essay questions the validity of separating Mies’ architecture into such clear-cut categories, where each one can enjoy a seeming independence from the other. The fulcrum for the discussion is Mies’ design of 1930 for a country golf clubhouse for the industrial town of Krefeld in north-western Germany. Our attention to the golf clubhouse design was prompted by the recent installation (2013), in which a 1-1 model of the design, made primarily from plywood, was erected in a field close the the site of Mies' original proposal.
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    • 1. To see more images of the model visit the MIK website at http://www.projektmik.com/press_ en.php?SID=bn24Qlc0aJik&eid=93.
    • 2. C. Lange, J. Heynan and P. Robrecht, 'Mies 1-1 The Golf Club Project', AA School of Architecture, Lecture Online, http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/VIDEO/lecture.php?ID=2382 accessed 11 July 2014.
    • 3. J. Ackerman, The Villa: Form and Ideolog y of Country Houses (London, 1990), 9.
    • 4. K. Kleinman and L. Van Duzer, Mies van der Rohe, The Krefeld Villas (New York, 2005), 18.
    • 5. Nierendorf had been left to manage J. B. Neumann's Graphishes Kabinett, in Berlin, when the latter went to New York to set up a gallery. See V. Endicott Barnett, 'The Architect as Collector,' in P. Lambert (ed), Mies in America, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, (2001), 90-131.
    • 6. Today the pair of houses belongs to the city of Krefeld. They are known as the Haus Lange and Haus Esters Museum and are used as contemporary art spaces. To find out more about their history and contemporary use visit http://www.kunstmuseenkrefeld.de/e/kunstmuseen/hauslangehausesters/ index.html.
    • 7. Kleinman and Van Duzer op.cit., 18-22.
    • 8. F. Tegethoff, quoting H. Sedlmayr in Mies van der Rohe, The Villas and Country Houses, (London and Cambridge, Mass.1985), 108.
    • 9. ibid.
    • 10. This image can be viewed online at the MoMA Mies van der Rohe archive, where it is classified as Object number MR19.53, as accessed on 10 October 2015 at http://www.moma.org/collection/ works/87592?locale=en.
    • 11. This image can be viewed online at the MoMA Mies van der Rohe archive, where it is classified as Object number MR19.41, as accessed on 10 October 2015 at http://www.moma.org/collection/ works/87589?locale=en.
    • 12. See F. Schulze, 'Depression, Collectivisation, and the Crisis of Art, 1929-36' in Mies van der Rohe, A Critical Biography (Chicago and London, 1985), 132-174.
    • 13. All information on HAFRABA is from R. Vahrenkamp, The German Autobahn, 1920-1945: Hafraba Visions and Mega Projects (Koln, 2010), 31-54; and 'Roads without Cars, The HAFRABA Association and the Autobahn Project 1933-1934 in Germany, Working Papers in the History of Mobility, No. 1/2002, www. vahrenkamp.org/WP1_Autobahn_1933_1943engl3.pdf.
    • 14. The article is reproduced in F. Neumeyer, The Artless Word, Mies van der Rohe and the Building Art (London and Cambridge, Mass., 1991), 313.
    • 15. ibid.
    • 16. ibid.
    • 17. ibid.
    • 18. ibid.
    • 19. ibid.
    • 20. ibid.
    • 21. See T. Zeller, Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970 (New York and Oxford, 2007) and T. M. Lekan, Imagining the Nation in Nature: Landscape Preservation and German Identity, 1885 - 1945 (Cambridge, 2004).
    • 22. A sketch by Mies of the drive-in project can be viewed online at the MoMA Mies van der Rohe archive, where it is classified as Object number MR4511.85, as accessed on 10 October 2015 at http:// www.moma.org/collection/works/87358?locale=en.
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