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MHD Interior Designer Network
Posted by Manhattan Home Design on Oct 22nd 2018
Designer of the Week - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
architect Mies van der Rohe was one of the directors of the influential Bauhaus
school in the years before World War II. He was born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies
and later renamed himself “van der Rohe” as an effort to distance himself from
his family heritage and become his own design brand.
His name was a
combination of the Dutch patronymic “van der” and “Rohe,” his mother’s original
last name. It was an exercise in aristocracy, as Ludwig had become a very
appealing figure in Berlin’s high society. His solo career as an architect was
profoundly marked by luxury and high-end living.
The style of
Mies van der Rohe
advent of World War II, van der Rohe sailed to the United States and quickly
became the director of the newly established Illinois Institute of Technology.
Van der Rohe was not happy about leaving Germany, but the Nazi regime had
become a cultural enemy that was starting to destroy everything that he had
worked for, including the Bauhaus, which closed in 1933.
and Classical influences, Mies van der Rohe was one of the first architects to
build homes in a style that was later dubbed “neoclassical.” As one of the
fathers of mid-century modern sleekness and minimalism, he believed firmly that
less is always more, and that God could be found in the details. These were two
of his favorite sayings.
would later give birth to the current notion of modern luxury. Van der Rohe
successfully shifted the idea of high-class living from exaggerated
ornamentation and opulence to a quiet declaration of style, architectural
prowess, and quality. His work in America was also essential to the famous
International Style that developed in the 1920s and 1930s.
Famous works by
Mies van der Rohe
Van der Rohe’s
most iconic contribution to home design has to be the Barcelona chair, which he
created alongside another German genius, Lilly Reich. The chair was originally
conceived for Spanish royalty to sit in, and was inspired from the seating used
by the wealthy in ancient Rome.
From his earlier
work, the Brno chair is also another classic. Designed around 1930, it was seen
as a marvel of architecture on its own right as it featured no back legs. Both
the Barcelona and the Brno later evolved into a collection of sofas and tables
that is universally recognized today.
Mid-century modern furniture is more than just a design comeback. It’s one of the most south-after styles for luxury-loving people all over the world.
Eero Saarinen designed the Womb Chair in 1946 after a brief meeting with Florence Knoll at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.
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