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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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