German Pavilion

Topics: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Pavilion, Le Corbusier Pages: 7 (2118 words) Published: April 10, 2013
1. Argue for one building built between 1880 and 1950 that embodies the zeitgeist of the early modern movement in three ways. Your argument should be uniquely yours. Attempt to take into account the local cultural and physical context. It is important that you rely on the primary materials you can find (images, plans, first hand accounts, etc.).


From modern architecture: a critical history

-It then became clear to me that it was not the task of architecture to invent form. I tried to understand what that task was… the others said, ‘what we build is architecture’, but we weren’t satisfied with this answer. By mies -The idea of a clear construction came to be there, as one of the fundamentals we should accept. We can talk about that easily but to do it is not easy. I is very difficult to stick to this fundamental construction, and then to elevate it to a structure. I must make it clear that in the English language you call everything structure. In Europe language you call everything structure. IN Europe we don’t. WE call a shack a shack and not a structure. By structure is the whole from top to bottom, to the last detail – with the same ideas. That is what we call structure.

-Mies was as much inspired by the work of the Dutch architect Berlage as by that Prussian school of Neo-Classicism to which he became the direct heir.

Mies van der rohe at work by peter carter
-While he was concentrating upon the planning of this pavilion he suddenly became aware, as if after years of rumination, that structural elements and space-defining elements could be separate entities, and by being so would release a new and significant architectural force. (20)

-Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich were jointly responsible for the design of the German section of the 1929 International Exposition at Barcelona; when France and Britain decided to build national pavilions at the exposition, the German government commissioned Mies van der Rohe to prepare the design of a similarly representative structure. IN addition to being open to the general public, this pavilion would accommodate the inaugural ceremonies of the exposition’s German section (attended by the King and Queen of Spain) and be used for numerous government receptions. (23)

-The site selected was crossed by one of the exposition’s walking routes. By allowing this path to continue uninterrupted through the spaces of his building, Mies van der Rohe underlined the open character of those spaces and eased the transition between the exterior and interior.

-The pavilion consisted of two horizontal planes: the smaller – forming the roof, being held above the larger –forming a raised terrace, by cruciform shaped steel columns. Freely placed between these two planes were non-load-bearing walls of marble and glass; some extending beyond the roof plane to enclose and articulate exterior spaces.

-Because there was very little time available for the design and construction of this building, as soon as Mies van der Rohe had decided upon its basic concept, he set about locating marble for one of the free-standing walls. He recalled that it was winter at the time ‘… since you cannot move marble in from the quarry in winter because it is still wet inside and would easily freeze and break into pieces, we had to find dry material. Eventually I found an onyx block of a certain size, and since I only had the possibility of this block, I made the pavilion twice that height, and then we developed the plan.’ -The richness of the materials used in the pavilion: the marble and onyx walls, the travertine-faced podium, the inted glass and the chromium-plated column covers – with the attendant transparency and reflectivity producing a fantasy of complex ambiguity,hass frequently blinded critics to the significant architectural valueds of this work. Namely: A clearly expressed separation between structural and non-structural elements; a free and open plan; a completely...
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