Mies Van Der Rohe, Exhibition House, Berlin, Germany, 1931

Mies Van Der Rohe, Exhibition House, Berlin, Germany, 1931

Mies Van Der Rohe, Exhibition House, Berlin, Germany, 1931

The Exhibition House expanded upon the radical spatial experimentation that Mies had begun with the Brick Country House Project of 1924 and realized in 1928-30 in the German Pavilion in Barcelona and the Tugendhat House in Brno.

The structure was a low rectilinear pavilion, its roof slab supported by a steel-frame skeleton of fifteen columns arranged in a strict grid. Intersecting the grid were nonstructural, partitionlike walls interrupted by expanses of glass. Extending beyond the roof, these walls connected the interior with the surrounding courtyard areas and reflecting pool, creating what Mies called “attached garden rooms.” The design effectively collapsed the division of inside and out, revealing Mies’s interest in blurring the boundaries between architecture and nature. The open-plan interior was organized by the arrangement of the furnishings, most of them designed by Mies. Interior doors were for the most part eschewed in favor of hanging fabric partitions.

Mies chose rich materials like rosewood, leather, and silk for the furnishings proved that “smaller” need not mean “lower quality.” The apartment was a free-flowing space, with the placement of furniture defining different areas: dining and work spaces; living and sleeping areas, divided by a bookcase/storage unit; and a bathroom, kitchen, and utility room, all in a space less than sevenby nine meters square.

Bibliographical reference:

Lizondo Sevilla, Laura; Santatecla Fayos, Jose; Salvador Lujan, Nuria and Bosch Reig, Ignacio. “LA IDEA MATERIALIZADA EN EL ESPACIO CONSTRUIDO. LA MUESTRA ‘DIE WHONUNG UNSERER ZEIT’ DE MIES VAN DER ROHE/ The idea represented in the exhibition Die Wohnung unserer Zeit of Mies van der Rohe.” Proyecto, Progreso, Arquitectura, 01 May 2013(8), pp.28-41.


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Reviewed by Irmina Gerełło, March 2017.