Mies van der Rohe

27Mar12

Nice to honor Ludwig Mies van der Rohe‘s birthday today with a Google doodle. Remembering Mies van der Rohe also fits with reminding forced emigration by German, especially artists, avantgardists, musicians, and of course the Jews who managed to do so, before World War II, an issue that I have been reflecting about lately through my course on Create Nonfiction focussing on immigration.

Interestingly though, Google highlighted the National Gallery in Berlin, his last building opened in 1968 and probably not his most practical when it comes to its function as a modern art museum: All exhibitions are in fact below the ground, bunker-like. Probably a case of function follows form. Here, the word Google had to fit into the building! His Chicago skyscrapers, the Barcelona pavillon, are all works that have been much more influential, interior and landscape shaping.

I like the building though. Transparent, simple. Remember, it was built next to the Berlin wall, effectively shutting off a society.

 

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