You may not notice it, but the influence of L. Mies van der Rohe is all over the place. Maybe, all you have to do is look around near the downtown of your city. Sky-crappers and modern buildings today are a very familiar landscape in many cities around the world, but at the beginnings of the XXth Century, this often squared, sharp buildings, were a completely radical change of the urban views.
And changes were great outdoors, but indoors, too. The minimalist, ornament free movement developed by van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, among others, delivered big changes in the Interior Design and furniture world.The Barcelona Collection, one of the most influential lines of furniture in the XX Century, is one fine example of this.
Let’s make some comments about the interesting life of L. Mies van der Rohe:
A more suitable name.
Born originally as Maria Ludwig Michael Mies, van der Rohe made a significant change in its name, by taking the Mother’s name “Rohe” and the terms “van der”, a dutch translate for the original German “von der” . This way, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has a much more noble sound. It was a common practice for the members of the Modernism movement to adopt artistic names, just like The Corbusier.
A man made by itself. Van der Rohe didn’t receive any formal education in its life. All its formation was as apprentice for several design houses in its natal Germany. As a boy, he worked at his father’s stone carving shop. In his days of fame he became head of the Illinois Institute of Technology, by that time named as Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology
He is famous by its aphorisms. Very fond of this particular way of expressing ideas, van der Rohe has many famous quotes. “Less is more“; “God is in the details” among the most quoted.
He was in “Playboy” magazine. In a time when the revolution in architecture was in its zenith, people like van der Rohe and other fine architects used to appear interviewed in Playboy magazine (Dressed, worth the clarification).
He married once. Adele August Bruhn, the daughter of a wealthy industrial, was the spouse of van der Rohe. They married in Berlin, in 1913, but the marriage ended in 1918. They had 3 children. Apart from that, van der Rohe never married again, but had some several stable relationships with Lilly Reich in Berlin, and with Lora Marx in America, who was his longer companion