Being an Architecture Nerd in Chicago

Mies van der Rohe is said to have been a perfectionist. According to legend, he would stare at a scale architecture model for hours and then point out to his (poor, probably overworked and underpaid) model builder that one column does not line up with a tile and that the whole model had to be redone. Notwithstanding, he was an architecture genius and I had the privilege of visiting the IIT campus in Chicago, that contains twenty of his buildings. The building below is the Alumni Memorial Hall:


For $10 you can rent an I-pod and do an audio tour of the campus, where a narrator points out certain details of buildings. Pictured below is what is called the ‘Mies-corner’. It shows how brickwork and steel come together in the structure of the building. It also shows how detailed every aspect of the building is, down right to the English bond brick pattern.


More beautiful bricks lining up:


This picture shows the Perlstein and Wishnick buildings:


Crown Hall is believed to be the highlight of Mies’s architectural work:


It is currently used for Architecture studies- the building is filled with sleep-deprived students and interesting scale models.


Mies van der Rohe is a German Architect, who became known for his modernist style andv use of glass in buildings such as the Barcelona Pavilion. After the second world war, Mies moved to the USA and was commissioned to work on the IIT Campus where he also lectured. Carr Memorial Chapel is the only building with a masonry structure that Mies designed outside of Europe:



The only ornamentation inside the chapel is the steel cross. The building has a calm feel to it and becomes significant, because it is so simple and understated.



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