Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Building Desire: On the Barcelona Pavilion (2005)

Building Desire: On the Barcelona Pavilion (2005)

By George Dodds

The following text is an excerpt from George Dodds’ book Building Desire: On the Barcelona Pavilion (2005), an analysis of the historiography and mythography of Mies’s building and its afterlives. The author reminded the Drawing Matter editors of the text, in response to our publication in June 2020 of an… Read More

Tradition and Modernity, Continuity and Critique

Tradition and Modernity, Continuity and Critique

By Rebecca Siefert

The following text is excerpted from Rebecca Siefert’s recent book Into the Light, the first comprehensive study of the work of Lauretta Vinciarelli. The book is available to purchase here. The grid has served as ‘the image of an absolute beginning’, as Rosalind Krauss affirmed in 1986 in ‘The Originality of… Read More

Writing Prize 2020: Architectural Apparitions

Writing Prize 2020: Architectural Apparitions

By Anahat Chandra

Some dreams are never meant to see the light of day. Like a wild design that continually finds itself at the bottom of the roster, patiently waiting its turn to be a part of the city’s skyline, it either promises to burn a hole in the pocket of the investor,… Read More

Mies: The Berlin Building Expostition (1974)

Mies: The Berlin Building Expostition (1974)

By Philip Johnson

The following text is excerpted from Oppositions 2 (1974): 86–91. The Berlin Building Exposition of 1931 was the largest of its kind ever to be held. With Teutonic thoroughness every material, every method, every theory that had to do with building was shown in the Exposition. The result of this thoroughness, plus… Read More

Mies: The Horizon

Mies: The Horizon

By Robin Evans

Perusing the slides I had taken of the reconstructed pavilion, I found it difficult to decide which way up they went — an artefact of photography, no doubt. Then I changed my mind. It was not an artefact of photography, but a property of the pavilion itself, a property of… Read More

Alternative Histories: Carmody Groarke on Haus-Rücker-Co

Alternative Histories: Carmody Groarke on Haus-Rücker-Co

Ashtray Our interest in Haus-Rücker-Co’s drawing lies less in the technological implications that created the artificial environment and focusses instead on the spatial tension created between Mies van der Rohe’s Haus Lange and the heart-shaped bubble that surrounds it. The drawing removes reference to the context, within and outside the… Read More

Parataxis

Parataxis

By Matthew Wells

‘Whatever elements that may come to hand or that are selected from the profusion of materials within reach, are combined with words to create a simple poetic image. This should amuse, disturb, mystify or provoke reflection. These images above all should entertain – the only sure road to appreciation.’ Man… Read More

Mies: The Double or Panoramic Structure of the Perspective

Mies: The Double or Panoramic Structure of the Perspective

By Desley Luscombe

What is compelling about the sketches of Mies van der Rohe is their reliance on a pictorial composition that actively distorts perspectival conventions. This type of distortion is evident consistently across his more finished presentations drawings as well as his sketches. In using perspective as his main visualising tool Mies… Read More

Mies van der Rohe: Neue Stadt

Mies van der Rohe: Neue Stadt

By Markus Lähteenmäki

In the photographs most often reproduced of the Glass Skyscraper by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the tower stands in the middle of a clay model of an old city. The model acts as a presentation of an imagined reality, of what it might be when built. The beacon of… Read More

The changing metropolis 1900–1930s

The changing metropolis 1900–1930s

By Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

Part II: Unifying the city landscape: 1900–1930s The area of Finsbury in north London became a borough in 1900 and proposals rapidly appeared to replace the terraces of George Dance the Younger’s Finsbury Square and Finsbury Circus with a large volume of continuous office blocks. John Belcher’s proposal seems to… Read More

Displaced persons

Displaced persons

By Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

Architects are extraordinarily reluctant to incorporate into their visual descriptions of buildings any evidence that the real subject their structures serve, and around whose activities they are so carefully formulated, is people. Here’s a look at a few of the moments when this unspoken rule has been broken. Distances: Using… Read More

Architectural anxiety

Architectural anxiety

By Niall Hobhouse and Nicholas Olsberg

This instalment explores the rich pathologies of architectural anxiety: the nagging pressure of what architects know and admire, or have seen and rejected. Or of what it is in the work of other architects, and in their own past practice, which they are driven always to acknowledge in the buildings… Read More