Ludwig Mies van der Rohe created architecture in the purist form. His modernistic architecture was ordered structural frameworks which created universal spaces in a vision of monumental "skin and bones" architecture. He pioneered the glass skyscraper and created steel and glass masterpieces with large open and inviting spaces.
Born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies in Aachen, Germany he trained with his father who was a master stonesman and worked on construction sites as a teenager.
At age 19 he moved to Berlin.
From 1908 until 1911 he worked in the architectural office of Peter Behrens, where he met Le Corbusier
, and Walter Gropius who also worked there.
He married at the age of 27, later to be divorced in 1921. After the divorce he changes his name by adding the dutch 'van der' and his mother’s maiden name, 'rohe.'
In 1929 he designed the German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exposition of Montjuïc using materials such as sheet glass, polished steel, marble, travertine and onyx. He also designed the furniture with one of the pieces becoming the famous “Barcelona Chair”. After the show it was dismantled and in 1983 it was re-constructed on the same site, using the same materials later, and re-named the Mies van der rohe Pavillion.
In 1930 he met Philip Johnson, a New York architect, and designed his New York apartment, Later Mies would design the bronze and glass Seagram Building in New York in collaboration with Philip Johnson. The Seagram building is considered the first glass skyscraper in America.
He was the director of the Bauhaus School of Design from 1930-1933 following the creator of the school, architect
In 1944 he had become an American citizen.
In 1963 he received the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom. Other recipients include Walt Disney
, Georgia O'Keeffe, Buckminster Fuller
, and Peter Drucker.
He may have pioneered the glass skyscraper, but Louis Sullivan
pioneered the skyscraper.
Spent half is life in Germany and the other half in the United States.
Mies last work was the Neue National Galerie, an art museum, in Berlin.
One of the fathers of the Modern movement/The International Style - and shares this honor with Le Corbusier
, Walter Gropius, Theo van Doesburg, Philip Johnson, and Alvar Aalto
August 17, 1969: Badly plagued by arthritis he died in Chicago at the age of 83.