From the mid 17th-century to the early 20th-century, after the renaissance and the enlightenment thought, the world again experienced a flourishing revolution throughout almost all the realm including architecture, culture etc., initiating many different movements. As a response to the declining aristocracy and the rising bourgeoisie, the neo-classicism began to spring up to accommodate the new institutions of bourgeois society through the re-adoption of antique doctrines. (Modern Architecture: A Critical History P12) Although it acts as an introspection of the over-elaboration of architectural language in Rococo interiors of Ancien Regime and the secularization of Enlightenment thought (Modern Architecture: A Critical History P12), architects cannot simply be sufficed with the fact a reverence for the classical past (Pragmatism and Modern Architecture, William G.Ramroth P31) They started to discover the fundamental morality of the building. (The artless word P96)
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, as one of the most “Zeigeist” architects in the biography of modern architecture, began his career under this ultimate paradox era.
Now we scale our eyes down to the three projects successively done by Mies van der Rohe during the 1920s, that is the Brick Country House, the Wolf House, and the Barcelona Pavilion, through which, we can follow the penetration of Mies’ ideological transformation from the neoclassicism to the modernism, to trace the differences between them.
Fan of skyscraper P2
Only skyscrapers under construction reveal the bold constructive thoughts. -Mies van der Rohe, published in Fruhlicht, 1, no.4(1922) 122-124 Mies Intro
“The idealistic principle of order…with its over emphasis on the ideal and formal, satisfies neither our interest in simple reality nor our practical commonsense.” –Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1947, p.194
In a Hegelian sense, Mies conceived of the “Zeigeist” as a driving force...