LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE (1886 – 1969)
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born in Aachen on March 27, 1886. Even today he is seen as an important architect if not the most important architect of modern architecture. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe grew up in Aachen in a strictly Catholic environment. After school he did an apprenticeship as a bricklayer and worked in his father’s stonemasonry.
After he had worked as a draftsman for an architect in Aachen and for the municipal building department Rixdorf in Berlin, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe left his family in 1905, moved to Berlin for good and worked for Bruno Paul. It was there that Mies van der Rohe worked on furniture designs for the first time.
In 1907 Mies van der Rohe built his first building: a house called Riel in Potsdam. In the following years, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe worked on different projects and went to The Hague for a while.
In 1915 Mies van der Rohe was drafted into the army: without participating in any battles, Mies van der Rohe survived the First World War in different construction companies.
The war did not only change society but also van der Rohe: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s design of a glass high-rise at the station “Friedrichstraße“ is still considered to be revolutionary and symbolizes the entry into the modern age.
The later works of van der Rohe should be known by most of you: in 1930 Mies van der Rohe was called to the Bauhaus in Dessau by Walter Gropius and later he became director of this institute. Mies van der Rohe was barred from pursuing his career by the Nazis and therefore immigrated to the USA. His whole life long Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed pioneering and ground-breaking buildings and furniture. The “Barcelona Chair” and the “Seagram Building” in New York are only the most famous ones.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe died in Chicago on August 17, 1969.