LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE: Google Doodle celebrates German architect’s crowning achievement
By Michael Cavna | The Washington Post | March 27, 2012
TO LOOK AT THE PURIST BUILDINGS by the man known as Mies is not to be burdened by a heaving and wheezing narrative, but rather to scan a spare aesthetic — and see the precision of a poem.
All those clean and elegant lines. All that open space that invites the eye. All that thoughtful plate glass and expressed steel. Mies — whose name belongs beside those two other modern masters, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier — helped build a new architectural grammar.
Today, Google honors Ludwig Mies van der Rohe — that German giant of post-World War I architecture — with a poetic Doodle of his crowning achievement: Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he was head of the architecture school. The homepage logo, by Google artist Willie Real, celebrates the anniversary of Mies’s birth, 126 years ago.
Mies moved to Berlin early in life, and assumed directorship of the Bauhaus in the early ‘30s, but it was his emigration to the United States later that decade — amid Hitler’s rise — that resulted in so many American cities being graced with his architectural beauty.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe applied the principles of the courtyard, and the importance of outdoor space and landscape to the Lemke house in Berlin and to Lafayette Park in Detroit. The courtyard principle is considered a turning point in Mies van der Rohe’s career.
This video is part of The Detroit-Berlin Connection. Find more stories and videos at wdet.org/berlin.