STUDY OF PRINCIPLES & WORKS OF ARCHITECTS
by SANCHIT MEHTA
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HAMIRPUR (H.P.) â€“ 177005, INDIA May 2015
STUDY OF PRINCIPLES & WORKS OF ARCHITECTS
A DISSERTATION PROJECT Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of degree of BACHELOR OF ARCHITECTURE by SANCHIT MEHTA (Roll No.: 11640) under the guidance of AR. SANJAY BHANDARI
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HAMIRPUR (H.P.) â€“ 177005, INDIA May 2015
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HAMIRPUR (HP) CANDIDATE’S DECLARATION I hereby certify that the work which is being presented in the project titled ‘STUDY OF PRINCIPLES & WORKS OF ARCHITECTS’, is the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the DEGREE OF BACHELOR in ARCHITECTURE and submitted in Department of Architecture, National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur, in an authentic record of my own work carried out during a period from January 2015 to May 2015 under the guidance of AR. SANJAY BHANDARI, Lecturer, Department of Architecture , National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur. The matter presented in this project report has not been submitted by me for the reward of any other degree of this or any other Institute/University. SANCHIT MEHTA This is to certify that the above statement made by the candidate is correct to the best of my knowledge. Date: (AR. SANJAY BHANDARI) Lecturer Department of architecture NIT Hamirpur The Project Viva Voce Examination of SANCHIT MEHTA has been held on……………….
Signature of Supervisor (s)
Signature of External Examiner
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY HAMIRPUR (HP) DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE
This is to certify that this thesis report entitled “STUDY OF PRINCIPLES & WORKS OF ARCHITECTS” has been submitted by Mr. Sanchit Mehta (Roll No. 11640) in the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the BACHELOR’S DEGREE in ARCHITECTURE for the session 2011-2016.
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE
DISSERTATION REPORT (2014- 2015)
STUDY OF PRINCIPLES & WORKS OF ARCHITECTS
AR. SANJAY BHANDARI
Sanchit Mehta (11640)
The successful completion of the project is the result of sincere efforts, guidance and inspiration from many people. I would like to pay my heartiest gratitude to my parents who have helped me in each and every steps of life. I find myself unjustly restrained by words in expressing my sincere thanks to all those, whose contribution is much larger than any word can ever claim to describe.
I am highly indebted to Ar. Sanjay Bhandari for his guidance and constant supervision as well as for providing necessary information regarding the project & also for their support in completing the project. I would like to express my gratitude towards my classmates and other teachers, without whom this project would have been incomplete, for their kind co-operation and encouragement which help me in completion of this project.
I am grateful to the Head of Departmentâ€“ DR. I.P. SINGH and Dissertation Cocoordinatorâ€“ AR. AMITAVA SARKAR, Department of Architecture, whose constant words of encouragement and help have helped me reach the present stage of this project.
At last but not least I am grateful to all those sources, person who helped me directly or indirectly in achieving this stage of this project.
The awareness of modern architecture and its principles, elements and techniques is a pre-requisite to designing the buildings and structures in present day scenario. The basic concepts and principles of the modern day architecture can be mastered only when the principles of architects of the bygone era are learned. This study is based on one of the major concepts of the 20th century, i.e., Minimalism. Minimalism was the basis of many designs, especially in Europe after the World War II. The need for minimalist architecture aroused due to the destruction of uncountable structures and the economic instability to redevelop cities. This unstable economy forced the architects to pave their paths towards simpler and faster construction methods and designs. The study is conducted by engaging in book reviews, research on the planning and designing concepts of the architects and the construction procedures of the buildings. Case studies and analysis of several projects of architects are undertaken to learn about the thinking of that particular architect behind the project, how the design evolved, what were the limitations and drawbacks of the buildings and the difficulties that hurdled the progress of construction and how they were overcome by prominent solutions. The study and research has resulted in helping to develop an idea of the thought process behind the designs made by architects of the World War and post-World War era. It also helped to gain knowledge of many basic concepts that are behind the structures that are now a legacy.
Declaration Certificate Acknowledgement Abstract Contents 1. Overview
1.2.1. Scope & Limitations 1.3. Methodology 2. Minimalism
2 2 3
2.1. Concepts of Minimalism
2.2. Elements of Minimalist Design
3.1. Life & Work
3.3. Principles & Philosophies
3.4.1. Tugendhat Chair
3.4.2. Barcelona Chair
3.4.3. Barcelona Couch
3.4.4. X-Table/Barcelona Table
3.4.5. Barcelona Stool
3.4.6. Brno Chair
3.4.7. MR Chair
3.4.8. MR Chaise Lounge Chair
3.5. Realized Works
3.5.1. Barcelona Pavilion
3.5.2. Farnsworth House
[d]. Other Materials
[e]. Internal Environment
[f]. Rainwater Drainage
3.5.3. Seagram Building
[a]. Planning & Designing
4. Tadao Ando
4.2. Career & Works
4.3. Principles & Philosophies
4.4. Realized Works
4.4.1. Koshino House
[b]. Planning & Design
[d]. Natural Lighting
[e]. Integrity with surroundings
4.4.2. Church of Light
[c]. Planning & Design
List of Figures
large scale, the architects of that period
rebuilding and hence a simple and clean
were basically inclined towards faster
approach was followed. This helped in speeding up the construction process and also minimalism in architecture
came into being.
Modernism in architecture has persisted
There have been many architects,
for many decades now. It has evolved
designers, artists who have contributed
from being just a theory of design to
to this particular style of design
being the nerve of the building. The
philosophy. The late 20th century saw
theories and principles of various
collaborations between designers and
architects of the
that of the contemporary architects have
architects to achieve the best possible design which is simple on its own.
given a wider perspective on the present scenario of the trends in modern architecture. There have been many developments and leads in the modern era of architecture,
techniques, technologies, methods and other aspects by which the character of the
Different personalities have different philosophies and definition of their type of work. In the 20th century, the major deriving factor in the design and shape of the
Figure 1 Social Housing in Monte Hacho by MGM
destruction due to World Wars. The World Wars led to rebuilding of almost whole of the city/town. As it was on a 1|Study of Principles & Works of Architects
designers and architects. Therefore, the
1.2 AIM The aim of this study is to familiarise with the basics of the modern architecture. It focuses on the principles and ways by which architects like Mies van der Rohe and Tadao Ando followed to achieve the fine quality in the buildings. The study also
procedures, materials and several other aspects that involve in the construction of a building.
project and not from the works of other minimal architects.
1.3 METHODOLOGY Almost all of the study is conducted on the basis of desk study and case study. The data for the scope of this study is already published on various sorces
the report. The study was conducted by
The study has a limited scope for the study yet has a wider perspective on the conceptions of modern architecture. This study focuses on the characteristics minimalism
of the architects being studied in the
mentioned in the bibliography chapter of
1.2.1 SCOPE & LIMITATION
conclusions are derived from the works
publications and churning out the conclusions
The case studies are also undertaken on
elements and the basic fundamentals
the basis of previously accumulated
behind designing a minimal structure.
data, either on the internet or in the
These fundamentals are supported by
books. The case studies are critically
the case studies of works of two
reviewed and several inferences, like
prominent minimal architects; Ludwig
planning, materials, structure, etc. are
Mies van der Rohe and Tadao Ando. The
derived from the review. Using a project
case studies have provided in-depth
for example, it gives a full picture of the
knowledge about the basics of this part
end-userâ€™s experience of the project
inputs, processes and results, providing a
This study is limited to minimalism regardless of other designing principles. Also, the works studied in the case studies are of two of the many minimal 2|Report
powerful way to demonstrate the benefits of the project to those who are thinking of being a part of it.
design and architecture. One of the
approach is De Stijl. He expanded his
Minimalism is the way or style of making an art form that says for itself in the
major references for the minimal
ideas by meticulously organizing basic geometric shapes, lines and linear planes.
simplest manner. It defines the nature of the subject with utter simplicity and with
“Where did Minimalism come from?”
its core fundamentals. The basic goal of
Contrary to what you might think,
a minimalist design is to strip off the
minimalism was never inspired by
elements to its fundamental features.
poverty and austerity. In fact, it’s
This is where the motto Less Is More is
frequently considered a style of the
derived. These word may be interpreted
super-rich. The attitude is: I can have
for different meanings. For instance, in
anything, but I won’t clutter my home;
the commercial world many insist on
instead, I will acquire only the most
architectural control and minimalist
elegant, simple objects available.
architecture is a concept for not being disempowered. Let's say that "less is more can have an industrial goal (do more with less) or an aesthetic goal. Sometimes it has both. The desire to strip architecture to its essential elements, at times for technical reasons but often with religious, spiritual or aesthetic goals in mind, has existed for thousands of years in countless cultures and civilizations. Minimalism has often burst upon the scene as a reaction to the corruption of religious or secular power and is the signal of the return to essential values. Minimalist design is highly
Figure 2 White Wolf Hotel by AND-RÉ
influenced by the traditional Japanese 3|Study of Principles & Works of Architects
It is simple in form and function, devoid
of pointless decorations, yet expensive.
aesthetics of that structure, both inside
You would never say minimalism is a
and outside. A similar sentiment was
cheap option. Formally, minimalism is
conveyed by industrial designer Dieter
1960s and 1970s invention. However, De
Rams’ principle “Less but Better”, which
Stijl and traditional Japanese design
is adapted from Mies’ principles.
could be considered predecessors of Minimalist architectural designers focus
on the connection between two perfect De Stijl (Dutch for “The Style“), also
planes, the lighting (classy and elegant)
known as neoplasticism, was an artistic
and the voids left by the removal of those
movement in the Netherlands. It began
elements which are stripped off. More
in 1917 and faded around 1931. Its
aesthetically pleasing home designs are
not truly minimalistic as these use much
Doesburg who died in 1931, and this
basically marked the end for the De Stijl
conventional designs. Also the spaces in
movement. This movement existed only
these designs are larger.
for a short time but layed the foundations of minimalism.
2.1 CONCEPTS OF MINIMALISM The basic concept of any minimalist
The major principles advocated by De
design is to strip everything down to its
Stijl movement are simplified visual
essential quality and achieve simplicity.
The idea is not to leave the design with
horizontal directions, and use of only
no ornamentation at all, but all those
primary colors (together with black and
parts, joinery and details are considered
to reduce to a stage where no one can
Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the principle of “Less Is More”
remove anything further to improve the design.
Minimalist architects not only look into
arranging components of a building to
the physical quantities of the building.
They have a more elaborate approach.
Figure 3 Kuehn Malvezzi - House of Prayer and Learning Figure 4 House for Gudrun by Sven Matt
Figure 5 Farnsworth House - Mies van der Rohe
5|Study of Principles & Works of Architects
They look deeply into the spiritual
further. Never settle on your first
dimension and the invisible, by listening
draft; instead, cut elements one-by-
to the figure and paying attention to the
one until your design no longer meets
details, the people, space, its nature and
its goal. Remember that minimalist
the materials used in that space. This
designs uses the fewest elements
reveals the abstract quality of anything in
possible to achieve its goal.
that space and one can feel the design by its simplicity and essence of the space. The design also opens up to the surrounding environment. The essence of that space, be it interior or exterior, is defined by the natural elements such as natural light, air and earth. These elements,
between building and the environment in which it exists.
Essence: the elements which designer thinks would please and would leave an
included. The essential part of the design would be that the designer leaves in. Details: all the details that a designer includes should give that feeling (modern,
sophisticated and so forth) to the visitor that you want to feel when you
The concepts of minimalism can be easily differentiated. The following are some of the characteristics of a minimalist design:
are in that space. Large spaces: the design principle follows an open-planning style of floor plans which makes out more
Omit needless things: don’t include
space throughout the building. The
unnecessary elements in the design.
open planning helps to achieve a
Only include what is necessary to the
form and function of the design.
without partition walls create a
Reductive approach: remove the elements in the design until it stops
barrier free environment. Surroundings:
working the way it should. The point
environment also plays an important
right before that is when one would
role in determining a minimal design.
achieve the most minimalist design
The site environment should be
possible that cannot be improved
integrated with the building so that
there is a connection to nature and so
and essential quality. After all the
that people don’t feel trapped in a
box with a large space.
feasible approach is achieved, the
White spaces: White space is key to a
elements of design have to be taken care
great minimalist design because the
of. Usually, these elements are used to
absence of clutter helps viewers focus
emphasize the essence of the space.
on the content.
Purposeful design: Every graphic,
furniture, artefacts, sculptures, wall
image, and content element should
murals, paintings, etc. Movement of
have a clearly defined purpose. It’s
natural daylight throughout the space
important to understand the goal of
gives an emphasis on the clean spaces
your design before you create it, so
and simple linear planes. Minimalist
you can ensure that only those
architects seek essence and simplicity by
elements that serve your end-goal
common and simple materials.
These are some basic fundamentals that can be applied to achieve a simple and minimal design. These practices can help to provide the simplest of the simplest designs. Also there are several other aspects like elements of design that judge the concept of minimalism.
simplification of form. As a result, you can’t expect complex shapes and all the subtle shades of a color you never knew existed. The use of color palettes and shapes varies through time. De Stijl artists limited themselves to squares, rectangles, horizontal and vertical lines
2.2 ELEMENTS OF MINIMALIST
and primary colors. The minimalists of
today use more complex shapes and
elements convey a message of simplicity. The basic geometric forms, elements without
simple materials and repetition of
richer color palettes. Nevertheless,
minimalists to use clean, simple shapes and color palettes that are either limited to multiple shades of one color.
elements represents a sense of order 7|Study of Principles & Works of Architects
Figure 6 Reykjavik House - Moomoo Architects
Figure 7 A church in Germany built with several arches and ellipses, an example of geometrical shapes being used in minimal design
Figure 8 Villa Extramuros In Arraiolos, Alentejo by Vora Arquitectura
These elements play an important role in
for different use of a space as well as
creating an aesthetically pleasing space:
create an integrity among themselves
Shapes: basic geometrical shapes like
so that it doesn’t look like the spaces
square, rectangle, circle, etc. are the basis of the planning of space. This ensures the most simple design and Colours: the appearance of a certain feature of the building depends the it
complimentary nature of the space with respect to the element used depends totally upon the colour of that
artefacts are selected on the basis of the
materials differently. Some prefer simple materials while some prefer extravagant material to accentuate
maximum surface area.
are divided. Different designers use
minimal use of color. Colors should be used to draw attention to specific words or design elements, either to help convey a mood or motivate a
their simple space. Furniture:
important part of a minimal design, for obvious reasons. The type of furniture used in the space gives the interior its own identity. The colour, shape size, scale and proportion all matter when selecting the furniture. Furniture that is low to the ground creates a modern look and also reflects the Japanese influences in the style. Use furnishings that do not take up too much space and provide only what is necessary, such as a resting area made up of simple chairs and large floor pillows or a bed that sits
response. Lighting: it is one of the key aspects of highlighting
low to the ground with a simple wooden surround.
features/elements of the interiors
Windows: Windows are a major
and also of the exteriors. Use of
design element in minimalist design.
lighting in landscape is a very
Large windows work best because
they allow the space to virtually
Materials: the materials can be used wisely so that they “divide” the space
surroundings. Fussy blinds or curtains
9|Study of Principles & Works of Architects
are usually not used. If you prefer to use blinds or curtains, choose natural wood or bamboo shades and sheer curtains. Keep windows clean to prevent build-up that may block an outdoor view.
Walls: Walls are usually white in minimalist interior design. The idea is to create a space that looks clean, which is why white pairs so well with the style. Pale terra-cottas, neutrals or colors reflecting the surrounding nature may also be used on the walls, as long as they are not distracting or make the space feel enclosed. Storage may be hidden in the walls, such as a large closet that is covered by reflective mirror doors made in a way to accent the design.
provide visual interest in the space. Bolder colors and designs can be used in the accessories because they are small and not too distracting. Make use of materials such as chrome and steel to create a look of cleanliness and wood or clay to bring in a touch of nature. Only the minimal amount of accessories should be used to avoid clutter. 10 | R e p o r t
mature buildings made use of modern
and plate glass to define interior spaces.
He strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (born Maria
balanced against the implied freedom of
Ludwig Michael Mies; March 27, 1886 –
free-flowing open space. He called his
August 17, 1969) was a German-
buildings "skin and bones" architecture.
American architect. He is commonly
He sought a rational approach that
referred to and was addressed as Mies,
would guide the creative process of
architectural design, but he was always
Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank
concerned with expressing the spirit of
Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as
the modern era. He is often associated
one of the pioneering masters of modern
with his quotation of the aphorisms,
"less is more" and "God is in the details".
3.1 LIFE & WORK He developed a new language of architecture after he served in the World War 1 from 1915-1918. He continued to build within his established ideas, though, Mies increasingly concerned himself with theoretical questions on the nature
Mies, like many of his post-World War
dissolution of his marriage with Ada
I contemporaries, sought to establish a
Bruhn in 1921, he designed five projects
new architectural style that could
in the course of four years, none of which
were realized. They are recognized as
as Classical and Gothic did for their own
the famous “Five Projects”. The first of
eras. He created an influential twentieth-
the five projects was a glass skyscraper
century architectural style, stated with
for a building site in Berlin-Mitte. This
extreme clarity and simplicity. His
was one of the most radical projects of
11 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
his entire career. Four of his “Five
collaborator until 1938. In this exhibition,
magazine G in early 1920s. The idea of
clear construction as a pre-condition was
Weissenhofsiedlung, with a load bearing
revealed here. Mies addressed one of
the “five projects” as: “We know no
apartments with non-structural partition
forms, only building problems. Form is
walls and flexible floor plans. It was then
not the goal but the result of our work.
that Mies discovered a new design
system, which would be critical for his future works- a compositional system that produced an open plan with fluid transitions between spaces and an implied sense of spatial organization. After World War I, Mies began, while still designing traditional neoclassical homes, a parallel experimental effort. He joined his avant-garde peers in the long-running search for a new style that would be suitable for the modern industrial age. The weak points of traditional styles had Figure 9 Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart (1927)
been under attack by progressive There is no form in and for itself. Form as goal is formalism…which we reject. Nor do we strive for a style. It is our specific concern to liberate building activity from aesthetic speculators and make a
century, primarily for the contradictions of
technology with a facade of ornamented traditional styles.
building again what alone it should be, a BUILDING.”
The mounting criticism of the historical styles
It was in 1927, when Mies was directing “The Dwelling”, an exhibition in the Werkbund, that he met Lily Reich. She
12 | R e p o r t
credibility after World War I, a disaster widely seen as a failure of the old world order of imperial leadership of Europe.
The aristocratic classical revival styles
were particularly reviled by many as the
neoclassical design practice Mies began
to develop visionary projects that,
discredited and outmoded social system.
though mostly unbuilt, rocketed him to
fame as an architect capable of giving
completely new architectural design
form that was in harmony with the spirit of the emerging modern society. Boldly abandoning ornament altogether, Mies made a dramatic modernist debut with his stunning competition proposal for the
glass FriedrichstraĂ&#x;e skyscraper in 1921, followed by a taller curved version in 1922 named the Glass Skyscraper.
Figure 10 Riehl House, Potsdam (1907)
He continued with a series of pioneering process guided by rational problemsolving and an exterior expression of modern materials and structure rather than,
projects, European temporary
two the for
the Barcelona exposition (often called the Barcelona Pavilion) in 1929 (a 1986 reconstruction is now built on the
original site) and the elegant Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic, completed in 1930. He joined the German avant-garde, working with the progressive design magazine G which started in July 1923. Figure 11 Tugendhat House, Potsdam (1930)
architectural director of the Werkbund, organizing the influential Weissenhof Estate prototype modernist housing 13 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
exhibition. He was also one of the
pure use of color, and the extension of
space around and beyond interior walls
association Der Ring. He joined the
expounded by the Dutch D Stijl group. In
avant-garde Bauhaus design school as
particular, the layering of functional sub-
their director of architecture, adopting
spaces within an overall space and the
distinct articulation of parts as expressed
application of simple geometric forms in
by Gerrit Rietveld appealed to Mies.
the design of useful objects. He served as
The German Pavilion, Barcelona and the
its last director.
Villa Tugendhat in 1929 and 1930 respectively,
buildings were radically the developed form of his idea of open, free space that he derived from the exhibition in Stuttgart. These buildings emerged as a Figure 12 Bauhaus School, Germany of which Mies overtook the directorship in 1933
notion of dynamic space and went on to be the core inspiration behind his later works.
Like many other avant-garde architects of the day, Mies based his architectural mission
understanding and interpretation of ideas developed by theorists and critics who pondered the declining relevance of the
selectively adopted theoretical ideas
Figure 13 German Pavilion (best- known as Barcelona Pavilion), Barcelona (1929)
After he moved into the United States,
of Russian Constructivism with their
his work changed radically, although the
assembly of modern industrial materials.
designed two private houses of lasting
Mies found appeal in the use of simple
significance and only one of those under
rectilinear and planar forms, clean lines, 14 | R e p o r t
commission from a client. The second
viewed the exhibitions of Frank Lloyd
project that he undertook was an entire
Wright's Wasmuth Portfolio, Mies was
campus of the IIT, Chicago which brought
enthralled with the free-flowing spaces
up the issues of type-solution and
modular design to the centre of his
encompass their outdoor surroundings
as demonstrated by the open floor plans
technological advancements to the
of the Wright's American Prairie Style.
building with an increased volume of
American engineering structures were
commissions coming into Miesâ€™s office.
also held up to be exemplary of the
construction on an unprecedented scale.
construction, and its skyscrapers were
Details studied by Mies in these years
included steel-to-steel, steel-to-brick and steel-to-glass connections.
Mies earlier conceptual interests were also transformed by new working
The design theories of Adolf Loos found
condition. In Germany, his clients were
resonance with Mies, particularly the
usually private individuals and public
ideas of replacing elaborate applied
constellations, in the United States his
clients demanded less art and more
straightforward display of innate visual qualities of materials and forms. Loos had proposed that art and crafts should be entirely independent of architecture, that the architect should no longer control those cultural elements as the Beaux Arts principles had dictated. Mies also admired his ideas about the nobility that could be found in the anonymity of modern life. The bold work of American architects was greatly admired by European architects. Like other architects who 15 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
design and construction also occupies Mies’s attention in the many high-rise building of his years of work in America. The high rise buildings require carefully detailed building skin. This problem of vertical, rather than horizontal plane involved
engineering solutions. Codes demanding fire retardant for steel structure over one story high introduced an extra layer between the building’s structure and its exterior skin. He confronted this new condition in his new 2 story buildings of IIT, devising some of his most brilliant Figure 14 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago (1951)
durability and reliability. Mies worked for the developers in the residential projects and not private individuals. This way Mies began to develop the archetypes of the modern capitalism. Mies developed a system where building skin and frame were once again connected to each other, in his buildings for IIT. He also developed integrated system of modules as determinants of a architectural space. The buildings he made there show the advantages of a system that allowed a large degree of similitude in architectural solutions with an equal flexibility to accommodate difference the challenge of modular 16 | R e p o r t
and best solutions in response to it. The load bearing structure is echoed in nonstructural steel elements on building’s skin, depicting the encased steelwork frame on the façade and at the corners of the building. Thus Mies’s earlier ideas of importance of a clear conceptual structure came out in the buildings of IIT. In the Barcelona pavilion, he covered the cruciform columns with chrome wrap, creating a conceptual structure over the engineered structure to give it a different meaning. In the skyscrapers he build in America, conceptual structures depicted an
presented the complex engineering of his high rise designs as he wished them
to be understood. This was a process
with its most essential concentrated
that developed over the years. His task
face. It also suggests the importance of
became clear over the years of work that
public sphere through its location on
he had to make buildings carry an idea
Figure 15 S.R. Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (1956)
A group of conceptual works spanning
dependant on the literal truth rather on
over the years make an interesting
a clear structural idea.
comparison with famous â€œFive Projectsâ€?.
The theoretical decisions could only be implemented late in his work, but it reinforces
between early and late modernism, between pre-war European and post war American
building was undoubtedly the finest high rise building designed by Mies in this paradigmatic
represents the architecture of capitalism
Mies used these projects to test out new ideas. These theoretical works share a common constructional theme: the separation of roof and its support from the spatial events found beneath. The creation
constituted a significant engineering challenge, but we might also note the philosophical
process, which occupied so much of
17 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
Miesâ€™s attention. Mies created one-room
one position in German architecture
buildings beyond mundane purpose or
culture until the late 1930s, and quite a
different one across the ocean in Chicago
after 1938, when he moved to the
constraint. We might contrast this idea
United States. A marvellous talent from a
of empty space, increasingly more
provincial far from the cosmopolitan of
urgent as the years went by, with very
Berlin, he made his mark through ability
different task of the IIT campus that had
and strength of character, without the
confronted him upon his arrival in 1938.
aid of wealth or an elite status and
But we might also note the overall design
education. In contrast, from the time he
stratergy and usable for a wide variety of
arrived in Chicago, Mies had an eminent
reputation as one of the most talented
Over the last twenty years of his life, Mies developed and built his vision of a monumental
architecture that reflected his goal to provide the individual a place to fulfil himself in the modern era. Mies sought
modern architects of Europe and an expert on progressive European culture. He was absorbed in a single task throughout his life; to the find the solution to new architectural problems of an industrialized age.
to create free and open spaces, enclosed
Mies left the Cathedral School in Aachen
within a structural order with minimal
in 1899 and started working as an
presence. On 17th August 1969, Ludwig
apprentice at local building sites and
Mies van der Rohe breathed his last.
developed skills in freehand sketching at
After cremation, his ashes were buried
a company that specialized in decorative
near Chicago's other famous architects
plasterwork. He arrived in Berlin in 1905
in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery. His
and by the time he arrived here, he could
grave is marked by a simple black slab of
draft at full scale on a vertical drawing
granite and a large Honey locust tree.
board, lay bricks and carve stone.
While working as a draftsman for
Miesâ€™ career was definitely shaped by the events of 20th century. He occupied
18 | R e p o r t
architect Bruno Paul, he studied from 1906 to 1908. Mies was around 20 when he received his first commission in 1906.
It was a house to be built for philosophy
works of Frank Lloyd Wright, possibly at
professor Alois Riehl and his wife Sophie
a lecture in 1910 in Berlin. Another
important influence on Mies analysed
Neubabelsburg. He became friends with
the writings of Dutch architect Hendrik
Riehls in the course of this project. Alois
Petrus Berlage. Mies stated that it was
also opened up a new world for the
Berlage who imparted him the idea of
industrialists, writers, philosophers and artist as he was a regular guest of the Riehl family.
fundamentals we should accept.” In 1912, Mies established his own business in Berlin. He was aided by his marriage to Ada Bruhn in 1913. As he pursued
artistic circles, Mies continued to build private houses for well-to-do clients, mostly in the Berlin and Potsdam suburbs. It was after he dissolved his marriage to Ada Bruhn in 1921, he designed the famous “Five Projects”. These five projects catapulted him into the avantgrade. The year 1926 marked a turning point for Mies. At the age of 40 he assumed vice presidency of German The success of this commission helped Mies’ 1908 entry into the atelier of Peter Beherns, who was at the time one of the most important architects in Europe. Mies claimed that Beherns taught him the significance of “The Great Form” which is evident in Beherns’ Turbine Hall of 1909. He was first exposed to the
Werkbund, a position he would hold till 1932. He was well positioned as a central figure in German architecture and in the fledging movement for international modernism
intellectuals in the Europe. At this time, he was commissioned to direct “The Dwelling” which was a major exhibition
19 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
slated to take place in Stuttgart in 1927.
like us, substantially. Due to his
This was the first of many collaborations
increasing reputation and role in German
with Lily Reich, who would be his
cultural politics, he was even offered the
companion until 1938. The exhibition
directorship of Bauhaus in 1930. The use
worked as a demonstration of the works
of progressive art in other media framed
of Neues Bauen. Mies was an essential
Bauhaus, resulting in threatening of
member to this group of modernists.
closure in 1930. Mies gratefully accepted
Mies himself called the year 1926 the most “significant” one of his career. It was the year in which Mies made new grounds in the handling of space, distancing himself from the materialist position of 1920s in favour of the more idealist one. After the new experience of space he discovered from the exhibition, he
developed form in the 1929 German
counterpart Hannes Meyer. Though in 1931 the new council passed a resolution to close the school. Mies and his students took refuge in an old factory building
continued to work from there until it finally closed down in 1933 as a result of the National Socialist assumption of power.
Pavilion in Barcelona and in 1920 Villa
Most of the Neues Bauen architects
emigrated after the closure, though Mies
remained until 1938. Mies visited the
United States in 1937 to meet a potential
There was an increased criticism of Mies’s and Neues Bauen’s architects’ work after 1927, first having material effect after the financial crisis of 1929, and resulting in decreasing commissions for Neues Bauen architects in the early
client. MoMA trustee Helen Resor knew his work from the International Style exhibition held in 1932. Mies accepted the offer of directorship of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. He was appointed as the head of department of architecture.
years of 1930s.
curriculum and necessitated the design The
exhibition were Mies’s most productive years and influenced future generations, 20 | R e p o r t
needs of the newly enlarged campus.
As much as Mies’s working and living
year, he completed the promenade and
conditions changed after moving to
Esplanade Apartments in Chicago.
America, and as much as he was now confronted
challenges, he continued with his earlier years also emerged with the importance. The later projects reflect Mies’s early statements about essential qualities of modern architecture.
The following year he designed the Bacardi Office building in Santiago and Cuba (unbuilt). Many other projects like the much-known Seagram building, New York and Cullinan Hall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas was also completed.
In 1944, Mies became a permanent resident of America and was also offered the citizenship of the United States. It was then in 1947 that he completed the Perlstein Hall and the Wishnick Hall at IIT. Monographic exhibition of Mies’s work was organized at the Museum of Modern
Figure 16 Farnsworth House, Fox River, Chicago (1951)
Art of which the installations were designed by Mies. The next groundbreaking work of Mies came in 1951. It was the Farnsworth House which is now one of the best-known works of Mies along with Barcelona Pavilion, Seagram Building and others. He also completed the Lake Shore Drive apartments in Illinois, Chicago. In 1956 he completed the Crown Hall at the IIT which is by far the finest and minimalist work done by Mies. In 1957 Mies was awarded with the nedal and membership of German society “Pour le
Figure 17 The Seagram Building, New York (1958)
metrite for science and arts” in the same 21 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
industrial concerns of his modernist contemporaries and an aesthetic drive toward minimal intersecting planes – rejecting the traditional systems of enclosed of rooms and relying heavily on glass to dissolve the boundary between the building’s interior and exterior. The Figure 18 The Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto (1969)
purity of Mies’s architecture is almost
surprising in light the diversity of his
directorship of Illinois Institute of
interests. An auto-didactic, Mies studied
technology and hence he loses all the
philosophy and science as well as design.
commission work that he was assigned
He focused on building structures that
for the campus building. His collaborator
reflected the modern context and
and developer, Herbert Greenwald died
creating a space that is both flexible as
in a plane crash the same year. In 1963,
well as functional. He included limited
Mies received the Presidential Medal of
spaces which were enclosed within the
Freedom from Lyndon B. Johnson.
confines of walls.
Lafayette Towers at Lafayette Park in Detroit, Michigan were also completed in the same year. In 1968, Mies completed the New National Gallery in Berlin and in ’69 he completed the Dominion centre in Toronto, Canada. This building marked the last structure that Mies designed and built. All the other works were posthumous.
Mies had developed the concept of “less is more”. The minimalist approach towards design and architecture during the 1930s helped him to realize what he wanted to work on. He was intrigued by the idea of having larger and multipurpose spaces that would be devoid of the mess and clutter of small and closed spaces. This concept can be seen in his later projects like Barcelona Pavilion, Farnsworth House, Seagram Building and
3.3 PRINCIPLES & PHILOSOPHIES
many others. He created designs that
Mies began to develop this style through
had a seamless flow between the
the 1920s, combining the functionalist
interiors and exteriors of the building,
22 | R e p o r t
which he achieved by integrating the
furniture to “divide” the space for its
elements and materials of indoors and
outdoors. He believed that “a man should be close to its surroundings and
nature” and hence built structures that
As Mies believed that furniture played an
were perpetually transparent and the
important role in defining the space, he
integrity with its surroundings was
designed exclusive furniture for most of
possible. The concept of fluid space is
his projects. Comfort and exclusivity of
further embodied in the design of his
the furniture pieces was what Mies gave
Barcelona Pavilion, where movable glass
stress on. The material used for furniture
and marble partitions allowed for space
is always in context to the color scheme
to be seen as flexible and independent of
and theme of the building it was made
the structure itself. Here once again the
glass provides enclosure, but does not
fine craftsmanship, a mix of traditional
detract from the architectural idea of a
luxurious fabrics like leather combined
series of perpendicular planes beneath a
with modern chrome frames, and a
distinct separation of the supporting
Mies’s buildings were referred to be of the “skin and bones” architecture due to extensive use of steel and glass for the construction of buildings. After he moved to the United States, almost all of his designs included steel structure and glass walls. Use of glass also ensured openness and integrity of the space.
structure and the supported surfaces, often employing cantilevers to enhance the feeling of lightness created by delicate structural frames. Almost all of the furniture that he designed was in Germany as in Germany he was more involved in commissions from private individuals for their residences. There were several pieces of furniture that
The idea of giving a space a specific
Mies designed over the course of his
function helped him to achieve the most minimal design possible. Mies believed
3.4.1 TUGENDHAT CHAIR
that furniture played a vital role in
Seeking to make a comfortable lounge
defining the spaces and so he used
chair that maintained the restraint of his
23 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
minimalist aesthetic, Mies arrived at the
Tugendhat. Here, the cushions of the
substances. The Barcelona Chair attests
Barcelona meet the cantilever frame of
to his mastery of form, function, and
the MR, arriving at an elegant solution to
beauty. The frame was initially designed
the overstuffed club chair.
In appearance, the Tugendhat chair is somewhat of a hybrid of van der Rohe and Reich's 1929 Barcelona chair and 1929-1930 Brno chair. Like the Barcelona chair, the Tugendhat chair has a large padded leather seat and back, supported by
a steel frame and legs. However, like one variant of the Brno chair, the frame is flat solid steel, formed under into a C-shape under the seat to create a cantilever. Versions exist with or without leatherpadded steel arms. The metal was originally
modern examples are often chromeplated. 3.4.2 BARCELONA CHAIR Perhaps the most iconic work from Mies' oeuvre, the Barcelona Chair at once gives life to and is born from its materials. Like the MR and Brno Chairs, it is composed of steel and leather. The steel bar legs ease up and over to support the seat and back of the chair. Mies' gift was to endow
24 | R e p o r t
redesigned in 1950 using stainless steel, which allowed the frame to be formed by a seamless piece of metal, giving it a smoother appearance. Bovine leather replaced the ivory-colored pigskin which was used for the original pieces. 3.4.3 BARCELONA COUCH The Barcelona Couch was first used in the New York apartment of Architect Phillip Johnson in 1930. Scholars cite Lilly Reich as a co-designer. The Barcelona Couch shares the same simple elegance as the iconic lounge chair of the same name. Mies van der Rohe's command of line and material in all medium, from architecture to furniture, helped define the modern vocabulary. Reich also designed the interiors for the Johnson project. Designed in 1930 a year after the chair â€” and the pavilion for which it was created â€” debuted, this rectangular couch is basically flat, with a top made from 74 individually-cut, hand-welted, and hand-tufted panels from a single
Figure 20 The Tugendhat Chair
Figure 19The Brno Chair, which was designed for the Tugendhat House, Brno, Czechoslovakia.
Figure 21 The Barcelona Chair, Barcelona Couch, Barcelona Stool and the X-Table/Barcelona Table in a living room. These four pieces of furniture are a part of the Barcelona Pavilion and were also used in the Tugendhat House, Brno
25 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
cowhide, a Sapele Mahogany platform,
chromed-steel frame is hand buffed to
polished stainless steel legs, and a single
cylindrical cushion at one end.
3.4.6 BRNO CHAIR
3.4.4 X-TABLE/BARCELONA TABLE The
Made of steel and leather, the Brno Chair the
expresses Mies' regard for simplicity. The
Barcelona Chair, Mies Van Der Rohe's
chrome and glass table design exudes
Czechoslovakia, where it debuted in the
modern style and simple sophistication.
Tugendhat House. The Brno chair has
The X Table made its first appearance in
become a modern furniture classic. It has
the Tugendhat House.
3.4.5 BARCELONA STOOL
a steel frame in a single piece, bent into a C-shape from the middle of the back,
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona
round past the front edge of seat (to
Chair and Stool (1929), originally created
create arms), and back under the seat to
to furnish his German Pavilion at the
create a cantilever, with taut seat and
International Exhibition in Barcelona,
back upholstered in leather. There are
have come to epitomize modern design.
two versions of the chair, one in tubular
Mies van der Rohe designed the chair to
steel and the other in flat steel. The
serve as seating for the king and queen
metal was originally polished stainless
of Spain, while the stool was intended to
accommodate their attendants. Still
are chrome plated.
produced to his original specifications, Barcelona is of quality fit for royalty. The
3.4.7 MR CHAIR
cushions â€“ welting and buttons included
Marcel Breuer, Mies' peer at the
â€“ come from a single Spinneybeck Volo
Bauhaus, constructed the first tubular
cowhide and are supported by cowhide
chair in 1925. It became known as the
belting straps, dyed to match the color of
"Wassily," for another Bauhaus member,
the stool. To create the deep, precise
Wassily Kandinsky, and marked a shift in
tufting, individual panels of leather are
modern furniture design. Soon after,
cut, hand welted and hand tufted. The
Mies created the MR Chair. By reducing the chair to its main parts and
26 | R e p o r t
Figure 22 The MR Chaise Lounge Chair. There were two versions of this chair made; one with adjustable seat and the other was fixed. It was a part of the MR furniture range designed by Mies.
Figure 23 The MR Chair in Tugendhat house, Brno
27 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
reconfiguring their relation to each
Mies van der Rohe. The material choice
other—clearly delineating the leather
was inspired by fellow Bauhaus master
seat and back supports from the metal
Marcel Breuer, while the forms are
frame—he arrived at a fluid, refined
thought to be modern derivatives of
19th century iron rocking chairs.
When it debuted, the chair was both lauded for its aesthetic accomplishments and laughed at for its aeronautical
3.5 REALIZED WORKS 3.5.1 BARCELONA PAVILION (1929)
tendencies: the chair would propel the
He designed the Barcelona Pavilion, a
sitter forward should he try to stand up.
German Pavilion for the International
This has since been fixed.
Exposition in Barcelona, in 1929. This
The MR Chair is available as a side chair,
Germany in the international exhibition
adjustable chaise lounge.
and was used for the official opening. It is a building of great importance in the
3.4.8 MR CHAISE LOUNGE CHAIR
history of modern architecture, with its
Like the MR Chair, the MR Lounge Chair features tubular stainless steel and a cantilever frame. Mies began with the
iron rocking chairs that were the
The building was meant to represent
standard in 19th century Europe. He
Germany in a democratic, and culturally
prospering country, after the recovery of
materials and a minimalist aesthetic. This
World War I. So, Mies has to design a
was another instance in which the
pavilion to be the ‘voice to the spirit of a
architect reused a conventional, classic
new era’. In that way, the concept should
form to produce a work of sheer
be realized under the principles of free
innovation. The MR Lounge exists as a
plan and the flow between rooms.
chaise lounge, an armchair, an armless chair, and an adjustable chaise lounge. The MR Collection represents some of the earliest steel furniture designs by 28 | R e p o r t
The site where the building is situated is a quiet place at the side of a wide diagonal axis, close to one of the
Figure 24 Floor Plan of the Barcelona Pavilion
29 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
contrast with one of the yellow walls but has political statement as well showing
“The design was predicated on an
absolute distinction between structure and
cruciform steel columns interspersed by freely spaced planes”. Nevertheless, the structure was more of hybrid style, with a very simple floor plan. The architect’s aim was for the building to be an
[a] CONSTRUCTION The building rested on a plinth of travertine with a southern U-shaped enclosure of the same material leading into a small annex. The building’s roof plate was carried by cruciform, chrome wrapped columns giving an impression
expression of tranquillity.
of hovering roof and disclosing the nonEven though it is visually simple floor
supporting character of the walls. Plates
plan, its complexity comes from the
of high grade stone like Tinos-Marble,
strategic layout of walls. Unforced
Vert-Antique Marble and onyx dore as
well as tinted glass performed the
throughout the space happens naturally
exclusive function of spacious dividers,
without clear knowledge of the visitor.
sliding under the roof plate creating a
Walls are not there as bare structural
floating transition between space.
support but rather spatial dividers and “directors” of the space.
Another interesting element Van Der
For the first time in his career, Mies
Rohe considered while building the
carried out entirely at the Pavilion,
pavilion (in bare 8 months) was his
consisted of the realization of the “free
selective choice of materials and colors.
plan” and “floating rooms”. A large water
Glass, travertine, marble, onyx and steel
basin sprawled out towards the south-
were his only few choices. As far as colors
east. Its floor slabs project over the edge
selection, Van Der Rohe let the natural
and gives an impression that water’s
materials speak for themselves and
surface continues underneath the plinth.
added only black rug and red curtains in
A second smaller basin was situated on
one area of the pavilion which not only
30 | R e p o r t
Figure 25 View of Barcelona Pavilion showing the roof, large water basin and the stone on the edge of basin.
the north side, where the plinth is
before the larger pool planted with lilies
bordered by a green marble.
then turns to enter the building. A
The circulation routes through the
narrow entry corridor flanked by green
various spaces of the building complex
marble slabs on the left and the eastern
outer glass wall on the right wall into the
coordinated with carefully composed
main interior space; a rectangular space
views. Ascending the stairs to the
cut by one long plane of onyx dore in
buildingâ€™s podium, the visitor stands
front of which chairs and table sit on a
Figure 26 Interior view of the pavilion showing the furniture, the red silk curtain, onyx dore wall on the right of the furniture and the milky-glass wall lit by lighting.
31 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
black carpet, shielded from the glass
for the visitor for momentary pause from
window-wall behind by a rich red silk
curtain. Left of the onyx wall is a ‘light-
wall’; a translucent box of milky glass lit
It was planned as an exhibit in the
artificially from within. Like all the other
Exposition and so it was intended to exist
walls, this box wall also rises from the
only for a limited time. The small time-
floor to ceiling. Other wall elements
frame, budget and relatively outdated
break up the regularity of the wall
building methods on site was accounted
changing from glass to marble, leading
for some difficulties in construction and
the visitor to a small court open to the
some structural flaws, resulting in water
sky with the smaller pool. In this pool,
damage. Completed in 1929, it was torn
stands an over-life-size sculpture of “Der
down completely in 1930. Though, in
Morgan” (The Morning) by sculptor
1983, some Spanish architects, with the
Georg Kolbe. This sculpture rises from
help of photographs and careful study,
the water and gestures towards the
rebuilt the whole structure.
rising sun. Turning left, past the statue, the visitor re-enters the building behind a beautiful slab of onyx with a view down to the light box in the depth. One can also leave the interior here, walk down the long side of the back and away from statue. An exit to the right leeds directly to the “Spanish Town” assembly of the exhibition. Alternatively, visitor can also turn into a covered open space outside the glass box and overlooking the large pool again. Travertine bench along the side of pool invites a rest and a look back across the long back side. At the time it was constructed, the critics characterised the assemblage as an oasis 32 | R e p o r t
Figure 28 The covered space by the side of the large pool and the travertine benches.
Figure 27 Exclusively designed furniture for the Pavilion adjoining the onyx dore wall.
33 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
3.5.2 FARNSWORTH HOUSE (1951) The Farnsworth house was an entirely steel and glass built structure that lies in near the secluded woods by the Fox River. This open glass house was Miesâ€™s most radical domestic design. It was meant to serve as a weekend getaway house which deploys eight I-shaped columns to support roof and floors framework. The steel is highly finished
floor, and a roof. Welded to the leading edge of each plane are steel columns which keep them all suspended in midair. Because they do not rest on the columns, but merely touch them in passing, these horizontal elements seem to be held to their supports by magnetism. Floor and roof appear as opaque planes defining the top and bottom of a volume whose sides are
Figure 29 Farnsworth House, Illinois
and is painted in white, in a dramatic
simply large panels of glass. The
contrast to the black enamel paint which
Farnsworth House is, indeed, a quantity
was the staple of Mies in the IIT campus.
of air caught between a floor and a roof."
When built it was unlike any known
In spring the pavilion stands on a carpet
house, and a description written by the
of daffodils, in summer upon a green
American critic Arthur Drexler soon after
meadow, in autumn amid the glow of
its completion in 1951 captures its
golden foliage; and when the adjacent
essence: The Farnsworth House consists
river overflows the house resembles a
of three horizontal planes: a terrace, a
boat floating on the great expanse of
34 | R e p o r t
water. It is in effect a raised stage from
reality and becomes an exalted place for
which an entranced viewer may not
contemplation -safe, serene and perfect
merely observe ever-changing nature,
in all its smooth, machine-made details.
but almost experience the sensation of being within it.
It is Mies van der Rohe's last realized
The living room was extensive and
house, built to provide a cultivated and
tranquil, enclosed by glass walls so
well-to-do urbanite with a quiet retreat
transparent that the outer landscape
where she could enjoy nature and
and sky seemed almost to form the room
recover from the cares of work.
boundaries. The room was subtly zoned into conversation, dining, study and
library areas by only two or three free-
In a low-lying meadow beside the Fox
standing partitions and a few precisely-
River at Piano, Illinois, stands a serene
placed pieces of furniture. It was virtually
pavilion of glass, steel and travertine.
empty except for these artwork-like
The house stands about 1.6 metres (just over 5 ft.)
surrounding meadow, leaving
completely undisturbed and giving its occupants a magnificent belvedere from
Figure 30 Farnsworth House, Illinois during the Fox River floods. During the floods, the house can only be approached by a canoe.
surrounding woodland. The practical reason for the raised floor is that the meadow is a floodplain, but Mies has characteristically managed to transmute a technical solution to an aesthetic masterstroke. Being elevated,
items of furniture, and there was no allowance for pictures on the walls. In
Farnsworth House the colours were predominantly neutral and unassertive.
the house is detached from disorderly 35 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
The floor was covered in creamy, off-
white linoleum. There was a black silk
The basic structure of Farnsworth House
curtain before the glass wall by the
consists of eight wide-flange steel
winter garden; a silver-grey silk curtain
stanchions, to which are welded two sets
before the main glass wall; the library
of fascia channels to form a perimeter
could be closed off by a white velvet
frame at roof level, and a similar
curtain; and a black velvet curtain ran
perimeter frame at floor level.
between the onyx wall and the winter
Sets of steel cross-girders D and E are
welded to the longitudinal channels, and
heightened the dramatic effect of a few
pre-cast concrete planks I and N placed
carefully devised focal points - the rich
upon these to form the roof and floor
black-and-brown ebony curved partition;
slabs respectively. The loading imposed
the tawny-gold onyx flat partition; the
upon C by the floor construction is
emerald-green leather, ruby-red velvet,
obviously greater than that imposed on
and white vellum furniture claddings;
B by the roof, but for the sake of visual
and the lush green jungle of plants filling
consistency Mies has made them of
the winter garden.
equal depth â€“ an example of the primacy
Bedrooms face east so that the sleeper
of 'form' over 'function' to which he was
wakes to the glory of the morning sun, a
dining area to the west, and a general
stubbornly emerges in almost all his
sitting area between the two. The
sleeping zone is served by a freestanding
The steel stanchions stop short of the
channel capping, making it clear that the
Outside, the raised terrace to the west is
roof plane does not rest on the columns
a splendid place for sitting at the end of
but merely touches them in passing, thus
the day, watching the sunset. Turning
helping to create the impression alluded
from internal to external planning, it
to at the start of this essay - that the
seems to have been decided that
horizontal elements appear to be held to
allowing motor vehicles to drive right up
their vertical supports by magnetism.
to the pavilion.
36 | R e p o r t
37 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s Figure 31 Floor plan of Farnsworth House, Illinois showing the surrounding vegetation and the interiors
38 | R e p o r t
Figure 32 Elevations and sections of Farnsworth House, Illinois
Above the roof slab is a low service
[d] OTHER MATERIALS
module containing water tank, boiler,
Passing on from the steel-and-glass
and extract fans from the two bathrooms
envelope, the other materials used in the
and a flue from the fireplace. Beneath
the floor slab is a cylindrical drum
restricted to travertine (floors), wood
housing all drainage pipes and incoming
(primavera for the core walls, teak for
water and electrical services.
the wardrobe) and plaster (ceilings).
Aesthetically the steel frame lent itself to
The range of colours is equally limited,
clear structural display, and was 'honest'
the better to set off the few artworks and
and free of rhetoric or historical
inside, and the framed views of nature
characteristics to the future-worshipping
outside - white columns and ceiling, off-
avant-garde of the 1920s. From a
white floors and curtains, and pale
practical standpoint the steel frame
brown wood. Such sobriety was a long-
allowed open-plan interiors in which
standing Miesian characteristic.
walls could be freely disposed. Mies
[e] INTERNAL ENVIORNMENT
connections in the less visible parts of his
structures, but in exposed positions he
Farnsworth House performed poorly
wished his elegant steel members to be
before the implementation in the 1970s
displayed cleanly, uncluttered by bolts,
of corrective measures. In hot weather
rivets or plates; and here he defied
the interior could become oven-like
normal practice by using more expensive
owing to inadequate cross-ventilation
welded joints, preferably concealed and
and no sun-screening except for the
invisible. If the weld could not be totally
foliage of adjacent trees. To create some
hidden he would have the steel sections
cross ventilation occupants could open
temporarily joined by means of Nelson
the entrance doors on the west and two
stud bolts and cleats, apply permanent
small hopper windows on the east, and
welding, and then burn off the holding
activate an electric exhaust fan in the
bolts and plug the holes.
kitchen floor, but these measures were often inadequate. In cold weather the underfloor hot water coils produced the
39 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
pleasant heat output characteristic of
ash. The worst cold-weather failing was
such systems (partly radiant, and with
the amount of condensation streaming
temperatures at head level not much
down the chilled glass panes and
collecting on the floor.
Figure 33 The living room in Farnsworth House, Illinois. In here are the furniture that were designed by Mies; the Barcelona Couch, MR Chair and the Tugendhat Chair.
insufficient in midwinter. Underfloor systems also have a long
[f] RAINWATER DRAINAGE
warming-up period that is ill-suited to an
Efficient rainwater disposal requires
sloping surfaces, a characteristic that is
increase the supply of heat, and give
somewhat at odds with the perfect
quicker warming, hot air could be blown
horizontals of Mies's design, but the
into the living area from a small furnace
in the utility room.
Farnsworth House. Behind its level fascia
There was also a somewhat ineffective
the roof surface slopes down to a single
fireplace set into the south face of the
drainage pipe directly above the utility
central core, facing the living area, which
room stack. The steel fascia and its
it is said to have covered with a layer of
capping stand sufficiently high above the
40 | R e p o r t
roof surface to conceal the sloping roof from all surrounding sight-lines, and to prevent water spilling over the edge and staining the white paint. The travertine-paved terrace has a perfectly level upper surface and yet remains dry. This has been achieved by laying the slabs on gravel beds contained in sheet-metal troughs with water outlets at their lowest points. Rainwater therefore drains down between the slabs, through the gravel beds and out via the base outlets.
Steel frame A - Steel stanchion B - Steel channels forming perimeter frame at roof level C - Steel channels forming perimeter frame at floor level D - Steel cross-girders at roof level E - Steel cross-girders at floor level F - Intermediate mullion built up from flat steel bars Roof Construction G - Waterproof membrane on H - Foam glass insulation on I - Precast concrete planks Floor construction J - Travertine slabs on K - Mortar bed on L - Crushed stone on M - Metal tray on N - Lightweight concrete fill on precast concrete slabs
Figure 34 Isometric section of Farnsworth House showing joining details, materials and steel members used in construction
41 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
3.5.3 SEAGRAM BUILDING (1958) The
Building on Park Avenue, New York came to Mies’s office by the efforts of Phyllis Lambert, daughter of Seagram owner. According to design guidelines, the building needed to be not only suitable for its high profile site but also extremely sophisticated. After Mies secured the commission, he brought Philip Johnson into the project as an associate. The Seagram Building was Mies’s first foray into tall office buildings. It was considerably bigger that the earlier
Figure 35 The Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York
projects that he undertook and involved a central urban gesture. He removed the
[a] PLANNING & DESIGNING
vertical slab of the building from the
Paved with granite slabs, containing two
street edge and inserted a generously
shallow pools and flanked by marble
open plaza at the fromt, neglecting
bench-like blocks, the plaza represents
strictly economic considerations. This
an essential part of the architecture,
helped Mies to distance the building
functioning as a podium that visitors
from the New York urban morphology
must cross before they pass through the
and the conventional economics of a
columns of the entrance lobby. Raised a
skyscraper construction. Mies created an
few steps above the street, the plaza
alternative urbanism, one in which the
forms a plinth akin to that of a Greek
big building also paid its debt to the
temple and denotes a space set apart
society by fostering civic life.
from the hustle and bustle of the
The Seagram Plaza had two direct
effects: it influenced the revision of New
The broad plane of the Seagram Plaza
York’s zoning codes in 1961 and in turn
sweeps through the entry doors into the
led to a higher tax premium for the
building’s low floor area ratio.
42 | R e p o r t
outdoors. The white ceiling of the lobby
Indeed, the basement, put on a
stretches out through and over the entry
sumptuous marble plaza with fountains
doors, further eroding the edge between
dry, houses the lobby, however the
inside and out maintaining the continuity
ground in the ground floor is cleared and the building is supported on piles, the shaft remains undifferentiated for the succession of office floors, which ends in a triple body height, while continuing strictly the volume of the tower, is expressed plastically as the pinnacle of the whole. To access the plaza area, we must undergo a staircase between two large
Figure 36 The Plaza in front of the Seagram Building. It spans around 30 mt. from the edge of road.
between horizontal sweep of plaza and
pillars or pedestals, where they spread sheets of water in symmetry, which is very characteristic of classical antiquity.
glazed space of the lobby. In the office spaces above, most of them furnished by Johnson, flexible floor plans were lit
The building is 157 meters high, spread over 39 floors.
throughout with luminous fabric ceiling. In addition to window panes of grey
topaz glass for sun and heat protection,
It is a rectangular building supported on
the window coverings were regulated so
piles. The floor of the Seagram's, as in the
that buildingâ€™s Venetian blinds could be
Lake Shore Drive, a rectangle of 5x3
fixed in a limited number of positions for
squares structural modules. But the
the sake of visual consistency from
elevation of the building achieves its
Mies designed his building to the manner
column with its three constituent parts
of ancient columns, with bases, shaft and
His typology shows clearly the structure
in front, meeting both an ornamental 43 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
Figure 38 Typical Floor Plan from 2nd to 38th floor, Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York
Figure 37 Ground Floor Plan, Seagram building, Park Avenue, New York
44 | R e p o r t
role, consisting of steel beams and
Part of the expressive minimalist Mies
columns of bronze that without a
van der Rohe in this work reaches its
structural role fits perfectly the large
maximum level of refinement: the
windows that are the most visible
"mullions of Curtain-wall" which are
epidermis of the work.
special I double profiles have been added
As a building for offices and not leisure
at both ends of the outer wing edges
activities, its facade is very simple, which
outgoing to generate a subtle emphasis
betrays the time to observe the
functional characteristics of the building.
The refinement showed that Mies on the
The ornamentation of the structure
Seagram extends to the choice of
borne by the facilities of steel beams and
materials: metal profiles and panels in
bronze and glass light shades of pink, in
columns were to be built of steel but
the curtain wall facade help to give this
because of complaints the company by
work a kind of charming New Yorker
resource economics decided to make
which lack the above examples, more
The detailing of the exterior was
thoroughness. carefully determined by desired exterior
Steel profiles seen in American buildings
expression. Just like Lake Shore Drive,
are rarely identical to the building
here Mies sheathed the exterior in a
structures, because the legislation police
non-structural metal skin of bronze that
fire prevention prescribes the steel liner.
articulated an idea about the structure
Thus the "structure" visible symbol of
but inflected frame underneath.
hidden reality, as in the Renaissance had symbolized the pillar columns. But the relations of Mies pseudo constructions
more convinced with the real. With the
Due to the fire law in force in 1954, at the
standard alphabet in steel production,
time of concrete construction was used
profiles I, H and L, Mies form welded
as a structural material, both outside and
profiles that are the equivalent of the
carved profiles of the past. Careful proportion of the skeleton, the ranking 45 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
of the various components of heavy to light, elegance sure their profiles and the subtle transitions in the corners or at points where various materials match. The maximum reflection and artistic understanding has never been attained by their followers. The architect also used travertine marble and also granite for the front plaza.
Figure 39 Construction in progress for the Seagram Building, New York.
Figure 40 Interior view of the office space overlooking the New York city
46 | R e p o r t
studying architecture by going to see
them." His first interest in architecture
actual building, and reading books about
was nourished in Tadao's 15 by buying a book of Le Corbusier sketches. "I traced the drawings of his early period so many times, that all pages turned black," says Tadao Ando: "in my mind I quite often wonder how Le Corbusier would have thought about this project or that."
4.1 LIFE Tadao is a self-educated, having travelled around the world for most of his younger years before opening his practice. When Tadao Ando was born in 1941 in Osaka, Japan. Growing up in that city as Japan recovered from the war, Tadao Ando spent the most of time out of doors, and was raised by his grandmother, whose name was "ando". From the age of 10 to 17
carpenter, where Tadao Ando learned how to work with wood and built a number of models of airplanes and ships.
he reached the age of two, his family decided that he would be raised by his grandmother while his brother would remain with their parents. Ando's childhood neighbourhood contained the workshops of many artisans, including a woodworking shop where he learned the techniques of that craft. As an adult, his earliest design attempts were of small wooden houses and furniture.
His studying was very unusual. "I was never a good student. I always preferred
Ando abandoned his boxing career to
learning things on my own outside of
apprentice himself to a carpenter and
class. When I was about 18, I started to
might have started a career as a builder
visit temples, shrines and tea houses in
instead of an architect except that he
Kyoto and nara; There's a lot of great
kept encouraging his clients to accept his
traditional architecture in the area. I was
unconventional design ideas. He had no
47 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
formal architectural training. Using a list
Pritzker Prize (1995), Premium Imperiale
of the books architecture students were
(1996), Gold Medal of Royal Institute of
assigned to read in four years, he trained
British Architects (1997) and now is one
himself within one year. He did not
of the most highly respected architect in
apprentice to another architect because
every time he tried, he has explained in
generation of students.
"stubbornness and temper."
The first impression of his architecture is its materiality. His large and powerful
walls set a limit. A second impression of
independence by refusing to establish an
his work is the tactility. His hard walls
office in Tokyo, which is generally
seem soft to touch, admit light, wind and
thought to be essential for architectural
success in Japan. He opened his practice,
emptiness, because only light space
in 1969, at the age of 28, in his native
surround the visitor in Tadao Andoâ€™s
Osaka. His firm, which is managed by his wife, Yumikio, is still based in Osaka.
4.2 CAREER & WORKS
Consequently, the great majority of his buildings are in or around Osaka,
Ando first achieved recognition with the
including several projects in nearby
Azuma House which received the
Architectural Institute of Japan's annual award in 1979. Completed in 1976, and
Tadao Ando took a number of visits to
also known as the Rowhouse in
the United States, Europe and Africa in
Sumiyoshi, this small house in a working-
the period between 1962 and 1969. It
class section of Osaka introduced all the
was certainly at that time that Tadao
elements of his later work: smooth
Ando began to form his own ideas about
concrete walls, large expanses of glass,
architectural design, before founding
uncluttered interiors, and an emphasis
Tadao Ando Architectural & Associates in
on bringing nature into contact with the
Osaka in 1969. Tadao Ando 's winner of
residents. Only two stories high and just
many prestigious architectural awards,
over three meters wide, its windowless
for example Carlsberg Prize (1992),
front wall is made entirely of reinforced
48 | R e p o r t
Figure 41 Rokko Housing One, Kobe, Japan (1983)
Figure 43 Azuma House, Osaka Japan (1976)
Figure 42 Chapel on Mount Rokko, Japan (1986)
49 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
concrete with a single recessed area that
One of Ando's larger well-known housing
shelters the entrance. The home is
projects is his Rokko Housing Complex.
composed of three cubic components.
The complex, which was built in three
The first cube contains the living room on
stages on the sixty degree slope of the
the ground floor, and the master
Rokko mountain, contains open public
bedroom above. The third segment
spaces and insular private apartments.
contains the kitchen, dining area, and
Each apartment features a terrace with a
bathroom on the lower floor, and the
spectacular view of the port of Kobe and
children's bedroom on the upper floor.
the Bay of Osaka. Ando's Church on the
The second section, between the other
Water, in Hokkaido, is a Christian church
two, is a central courtyard.
which features an artificial lake which comes to the very edge of the building.
The courtyard that lies between the two bedrooms is walled but completely open to the sky above. A bridge spans the courtyard and joins with a side staircase that descends to the courtyard. With the exception of the kitchen/dining/bath grouping, one must go outside to pass between rooms even during the winter and rainy seasons. Ando believes the inconvenience and discomfort are not without recompense. His buildings force an awareness onto their inhabitants of their place in the world. Moreover, the introspective design of the home insulates its occupants from the sound and sights of the city and offers a tranquil space which is still open to the sun, wind,
The cubic concrete chapel has one entirely glass wall that slides completely away in good weather. The pews in the chapel face the lake and overlook a large steel cross standing in the middle of the water. Church of Light, in Osaka, which is recognized as another masterful work, is a rectangular concrete box, intersected at a 15 degree angle by a freestanding wall which defines the entrance. Behind the altar, a clear glass cross-shaped opening in the concrete wall floods the interior with light. Water Temple, in Hyogo, is a Buddhist temple built under a lotus pond. The entrance to the temple is a stairwell which bisects the pond and leads to the temple below.
and clouds. Ando's four-story Japan Pavilion was considered the most impressive work of 50 | R e p o r t
architecture at Expo '92 in Seville, Spain.
Japan, was juxtaposed with such modern
One of the largest wooden buildings in
elements as a translucent Teflon-coated
the world, the pavilion measures 60
meters wide, 40 meters deep, and 25
different from his concrete and glass
meters high at its tallest point.
constructions, the pavilion still exhibits
his style by not having front openings save a single breezeway that allows the sun and wind free passage between the two wings. The focus remains internally oriented with an emphasis on tangible natural participation within the defined space. In 1999, Ando's design for a seminar house for TOTO, a manufacturer of Figure 44 The Japan Pavilion, Seville, Spain (1992)
plumbing equipment, was built. Ando
Unpainted wood, one of the most
had been asked by the firm to "find a site
traditional construction materials in
that would be spiritually refreshing,"
Figure 45 Awaji-Yumebutai, Awaji, Hyogo (2000)
51 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
according to Peter Davey of Architectural
Review. The spot he chose was on the
Williamston, Massachusetts. His next
top of a hill that looked down over a
building, the new Pulitzer Foundation for
forest leading to Osaka Bay. He went on
the Arts in St. Louis, Missouri, opened to
to design his largest project up to that
the public in October of 2001; it was his
point: a 70-acre garden complex on
first institutional project in the United
Awaji Island in Japan. Ando called it
States. That same year, a Buddhist
Yumebutai, which translates to "a place
temple he designed, called Komyo-ji, was
of dreams." He worked hard to get the
built. Replacing a 250-year-old building,
property transferred to public ownership
the temple incorporated "existing trees,
so that it could be enjoyed by everyone,
stone walls, gatehouse, and bell tower as
not just the wealthy. A hotel, conference
a memory of the old—a decision that
centre, gardens, and water parks were all
produced a more compressed and
included in his plan. "Yumebutai cannot
engaging complex," wrote Architectural
Review’s Michael Webb. The progressive
alone," Architecture’s Tom Heneghan
chief priest had insisted on a light-filled
declared. "It is an overlap between
space for the community which was
architecture, landscape design, event
suitable for concerts, lectures, and
worship. In 2002, fashion designer
and the Clark Institute in
Giorgio Armani commissioned Ando to design his world headquarters building.
In 2001, the Calder Foundation hired Ando to design its new museum in Philadelphia,
according to Interior Design, would "be dedicated
generations of sculptors who shared both a name—Alexander Calder—and a medium." He was also contracted to design
Contemporary Art Foundation in Paris, France (scheduled for completion in 52 | R e p o r t
Ando's task was to turn a former chocolate factory in Milan, Italy, into a suitable place for fashion shows and other events. Architectural Review’s Webb
reinvented the traditional Japanese aesthetic of light and shade, offering linear progression through a walled labyrinth,
concealing and selectively revealing to
build anticipation for the drama to come.
opened this past May, and the Asia
Materials are plain, forms simple, but the
University Art Museum, which has not
effects are thrilling. From Buddhist
yet been constructed.
temple to European fashion house, Ando finds a common thread between diverse cultures
4.3 PRINCIPLES & PHILOSPHIES Ando was raised in Japan where the religion and style of life strongly
influenced his architecture and design.
completed on another one of Ando's
Ando's architectural style is said to
designs, the Modern Art Museum of Fort
create a "haiku" effect, emphasizing
Worth, Texas. "In Ft. Worth he's created
a rich architectural experience of
represent the beauty of simplicity. He
materials and movement—you feel
drawn through galleries that are both
logical and mysterious, simple and
appearance of simplicity. A self-taught
surprising," wrote Newsweek’s Cathleen
architect, he keeps his Japanese culture
McGuigan. Ando's first British project
and language in mind while he travels
involved joining a group that landscaped
around Europe for research. As an
Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens. Ando's
architect, he believes that architecture
work received mixed reviews, however.
can change society, that "to change the
Questions were raised "about the value
dwelling is to change the city and to
and possible loss of local identity. To
reform society". "Reform society" could
what extent is this.... a Japanese garden?
be a promotion of a place or a change of
And is it at home in central Manchester?"
the identity of that place. According to
Werner Blaser, "Good buildings by Tadao
Morant. In 2004, another of Ando's
Ando create memorable identity and
designs, the Langen Foundation, opened
therefore publicity, which in turn attracts
in Neuss, Germany.
penetration". Recent work by Ando includes the Hansol Museum in South Korea, whose doors
emphasizes the concept of sensation and
53 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
physical experiences, mainly influenced
mind is the locus of god. Dwelling in a
by the Japanese culture. The religious
house is a search for the mind as the
term Zen, focuses on the concept of
locus of god, just as one goes to church
simplicity and concentrates on inner
to search for god. An important role of
feeling rather than outward appearance.
the church is to enhance this sense of the
Zen influences vividly show in Andoâ€™s
spiritual. In a spiritual place, people find
work and became its distinguishing
peace in their mind, as in their
mark. In order to practice the idea of
simplicity, Ando's architecture is mostly constructed with concrete, providing a sense of cleanliness and weightlessness at the same time. Due to the simplicity of the
organization of the space are relatively potential in order to represent the aesthetic of sensation. Besides Japanese religious architecture, Ando
churches, such as the Church of the Light (1989) and the Church in Tarumi
Figure 46 The Church of Light, Osaka, Japan (1989)
(1993). Although Japanese and Christian churches display distinct characteristics, Ando treats them in a similar way. He believes there should be no difference in designing religious architecture and
Besides speaking of the spirit of architecture, Ando also emphasises the association
architecture. He intends for people to easily experience the spirit and beauty of
nature through architecture. He believes Ando explains, â€œWe do not need to differentiate
Dwelling in a house is not only a functional issue, but also a spiritual one. The house is the locus of mind, and the 54 | R e p o r t
performing the attitude of the site and makes it visible. This not only represents his theory of the role of architecture in society but also shows why he spends so
much time studying architecture from
interior and exterior spaces formed both
inside large-scale geometric shapes and
Ando’s mastery of light, nature, and
in the spaces between them.
space catapulted him onto the global
4.4.1 KOSHINO HOUSE
stage by the mid-1980s. His buildings
The Koshino House, an architectural
derive form from simple geometries that
masterpiece, represented a fresh start
contrast with complex 3-dimensional
for Ando, a famous Japanese architect.
circulation, reflecting his desire for his
He began the work of dismantling the
architecture to be an immersive physical
experience. All Tadao Ando’s work is
characteristically simple, and we can find
similar forms in the first half of 20th
century. The Koshino House, second realisation
completed in two phrases (1980-81 and 1983-84). This house is a masterpiece, and collects all fragments of Tadao Ando’s
prototype the and
The house, by Tadao Ando for the designer Koshin, is a veritable maze of lights and shadows. Like Barragan, the architect seeks to reconcile the tenets of international modernism with tradition and landscape, in this case, Japanese. So,
mainly the light.
The House Koshin is an example of contemporary architecture built in two
4.4 REALIZED WORKS Tadao Ando's body of work is known for the creative use of natural light and for structures that follow natural forms of the landscape, rather than disturbing the
parallel wings that barely interrupt the landscape.
simplicity and treatment of light, typical features of the architecture of the Japanese.
landscape by making it conform to the constructed space of a building. Ando's buildings are often characterized by complex three-dimensional circulation paths. These paths weave in between
[a] SITE Koshin The house is located in Ashiya, a small town located between Osaka and Kobe two major urban centres in Japan.
55 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
It is built in a residential area, suburban,
site is transformed into a space as
in the hills of the city.
precisely assembled as craft work.
Located on a mountainside densely
Tadao Andoâ€™s design for the Koshino
wooded, the House Koshin is embedded
House features two parallel concrete
in the ground, irregular shape contrasts
rectangular confines. The forms are
strongly with the sharpness of the
partially buried into the sloping ground
geometric shapes of the building.
of a national park and become a
The effect is achieved through a strong
compositional addition to the landscape.
slope, is that the visitor comes from
Placed carefully as to not disrupt the pre-
above and before entering can see their
existing trees on the site, the structure
feet the roof of the house. Its deep
responds to the adjacent ecosystem
connection to the earth allows for a
while the concrete forms address a more
more private atmosphere.
Figure 47 Koshino House, Hyogo, Japan (1980)
[b] PLANNING & DESIGN
manipulation of light.
He blends together the site and the
The northern volume consists of a two-
building, incorporates the landscape into
storey height containing a double height
the building, and makes use of every bit
living room, a kitchen and a dining room
of the site. The interior space is extended
on the first floor with the master
into the exterior space, and the entire
bedroom and a study on the second
56 | R e p o r t
Figure 48 Architectural drawings for the Koshino Hoouse, Hyogo, Japan
57 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
floor. The southern mass then consists of
temples and aesthetic scintoisti reduced
by Zen Buddhism.
bedrooms, a bathroom and a lobby.
Ando used the space within the two
Connecting the two spaces is a below
rectangular prisms as a way to express
grade tunnel that lies beneath the
the fundamental nature of the site. This
exterior stairs of the courtyard. The entry
space reveals a courtyard that drapes
of this house, semi batch, is level. From
over and contours to the natural
here go down in the living room with
topography. A wide set of stairs follows
the sloping land into the enclosed
In one wing parallel to the building,
exterior space and allows the light that
connected through a corridor of almost
penetrates through the canopy of trees
underground, a number of halls and
into the sunken courtyard. This self-
rooms for children, since that can be
governing space represents the fold of
accessed by a long hallway.
nature that has been bound by the
The entire house is structured as a
conditioned structures and become
Japanese garden around a series of
scenic background, designed to boost
Narrow apertures have been punched
awareness of nature.
through the faĂ§ades adjacent to the
The two big openings in the living room
offer views of the steep slopes, trees and
complex crossings of natural light and
hills in the distance.
shadow into the interior spaces. The
In 1983, Ando was asked to add a study. The addition is totally underground north of the room, the containment wall account of how the circumference of the plant. Although this house is often linked to minimalism can be better understood in the context of archetypal forms of
58 | R e p o r t
patterns provide the only amount of ornament to the simple rooms. Other slots are cut from various planes of the two modules to produce the same effect of complexity throughout the entire house.
Figure 50 Living Room, Koshino House
Figure 52 Access path between two blocks
Figure 49 The back corridor leads to bedrooms
Figure 51 Study Room, Koshino House
Figure 53 The Atelier, added four years after construction
59 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
way Tadao Ando uses concrete is to
Another factor worth noting is that there
mould them into light homogeneous
are no decorative elements. The view
surfaces. His intent is not to express the
provided by the wide openings along
nature of the material itself, but to use it
with the shadows cast by the narrow
to establish space.
openings and skylights, and the texture of the concrete both combined, operate as the only ornamentation.
[d] NATURAL LIGHTING Light enters through a sky-light between
All the walls are made of this material
the wall and the roof, illuminating a
and are free of ornamentation and in
curved wall; a large window has been
their natural form. Tadao Ando used this
opened in the living room wall. The
material because it is a way to admit light
interior is gradually assimilated into the
and wind within the walls and creating a
beautiful landscape. This house is
sense of serenity and wide open spaces.
composed of two box-like buildings of
Another reason why using this material is
different volumes, arranged in parallel
on either side of a terrace. The main
technological resources to which access
building contains a double-height living
is the architect living in a developed
room, a kitchen, a dining room, and, on
country such as Japan.
an upper floor, the main bedroom.
Widely used to make large glass windows throughout the house. The reason for
The other building is the private
using this material is giving way to large
quarters, accommodating a total of six
quantities of light and offer a view of the
rooms—bedrooms and tatami rooms—
arranged in a row, as well as a bathroom.
unexpectedly smooth because of the added luminous coating, contradicting the
underground corridor. [e] INTEGRITY WITH SURROUNDING
reactiveness of the concrete produces the illusion of a textile surface rather than presenting it as a heavy mass. The 60 | R e p o r t
The two buildings are connected by an
Then there is the terrace between the two buildings—an outdoor living room
where one can fully appreciate the
strong contrast to the existing portion,
abundant greenery. Ando suggests a life
where light from the skylight takes a
linear form; the two parts of the house
continually aware of the richness of
offer different spatial experiences even
nature on a spacious site surrounded by
at the same time of day.
trees. This building, which can be used to accommodate guests on weekends, is
The addition was not anticipated at the
predicated on a lifestyle very different
beginning, but Ando has succeeded in
from that in the city.
forming a landscape of even greater complexity and nuance.
An atelier was added four years after the Andoâ€™s
Ando is a master of additions and
buildings are always formally complete.
renovations. He is always assimilating
Thus, his task is additionally to alter a
images and picturing possible worlds so
form that was once complete in itself to
that, if the slightest opportunity presents
create another complete form. The end
itself, he can immediately try to realize
result must rise to a new level of perfection. Adding a few touches to a work completed in the past is difficult.
them. In 2005, he is in fact in the process of a second renovation of the Koshino House.
In the case of the Koshino House, Ando sought to develop a new overall image by
Twenty-five years after the completion
contrasting the addition to the existing
of the original residence in 1980, he is at
portion. The addition is positioned
work on a new project. His versatilityâ€”
higher up on the hillside; a wall
his ability to use a wide range of
describing a quadrant in plan resists soil
pressure like a dam and encloses a space.
additions. This ability has served him we in projects to preserve buildings. That is
because projects to construct new old A slit is opened in the ceiling along the
buildings do indeed need to transcend
curving wall of the addition, and light
entering through the slit takes the form of a curving geometrical figure. This is in 61 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
4.4.2 CHURCH OF LIGHT
Ando chose to use the orientation of the church as the overall layout of the new
Church of the Light was completed in 1989 as an annex to an existing wooden church and minister’s house. Located in a small residential suburb of Osaka, the building layout relates to the existing buildings on the site and the sun. The budget
$250,000 US in construction costs. All
building. This church is seen as a place of retreat where the outside world is forgotten and the natural world is emphasized in a rather abstract manner vis-a-vis Ando's control of the light. This church
simplicity of Christianity with its lowtech, yet powerful design.
costs were afforded by the church's congregation. Ando addressed this issue
by using his usual pallet of inexpensive materials such as reinforced concrete and wood. Ten years after the chapel's completion Ando was requested to design a new Sunday School building.
In the small town of Ibaraki, 25km outside of Osaka, Japan, stands one of Tadao Ando’s signature architectural works, the Church of the Light. The Church of the Light embraces Ando’s philosophical
nature and architecture through the way in which light can define and create new spatial perceptions equally, if not more so, as that of his concrete structures. Completed in 1989, the Church of the Light was a renovation to an existing Christian compound in Ibaraki. The new church was the first phase to a complete redesign of the site – later completed in 1999 – under Ando’s design aesthetic. Figure 54 The Church Of Light, Osaka, Japan (1989)
The location was where the original church stood, adjacent to the chapel.
neighbourhood in the suburbs of Osaka, the small Christian church made of silky
62 | R e p o r t
smooth concrete sits modestly within its
[c] PLANNING & DESIGN
environment. Ando’s Church of the Light is minimalist [b] CONCEPT
and reductive of religious paraphernalia to a simple cruciform extrusion, which is
For Ando, the Church of Light is an architecture of duality – the dual nature of [co]existence – solid/void, light/dark, stark/serene. The coexisting differences leave the church void of any, and all, ornament creating a pure, unadorned space. The intersection of light and solid raises the occupants’ awareness of the spiritual and secular within themselves.
often criticized as disturbingly empty, void, and undefined. Although it has been stated to be nothing more than six walls and a roof, there is a whole level of design aesthetic implemented by Ando and his contractors that is misread and unrecognized by the occupants. As a modern, minimalist structure the Church of the Light emits an architectural purity that is found in the details. The
The employment of simplistic materials reinforces the duality of the space; the concrete
distinction of traditional Christian motifs and aesthetic. Besides an extruded cross from the east facing façade, the church is composed of a concrete shell; the concrete adds to the darkness of the church by creating a more humble, meditative place of worship. As a testament to minimalist architecture, the crosses void in the east facing wall is
reinforced concrete volume is void of any and all ornament that is not part of the construction process. The seams and joints of the concrete are built with precision and care by master Japanese carpenters, along with Ando, that have worked to create an immaculately smooth surface and accurately aligned joints. So much so, that the seams of the concrete formwork align perfectly with the crosses extrusion on the east side of the church.
the only prominent religious symbol present in the church.
The communal church consists of two rectangular volumes that are both cut at a 15 degree angles by freestanding concrete walls. One indirectly enters the
63 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
Figure 56 Site plan of the church complex showing the chapel, school and minister's house
Figure 55 The edge showing the connection of the tilted entrance wall
64 | R e p o r t
Figure 57 Circular bench outside the school building
church by slipping between the two
the joints in the concrete. At this
volumes, one that contains the Sunday
intersection of light and solid the
school and the other that contains the
occupant is meant to become aware of
the deep division between the spiritual and the secular within himself or herself.
reinforcement of Ando’s principal focus on simplicity and minimalist aesthetic; however, the way in which the concrete is poured and formed gives the concrete a luminous quality when exposed to natural light. Ando’s decision to place the cross on the east façade allows for light to pour into the space throughout the early morning and into the day, which has a dematerializing effect on the interior concrete walls transforming the
One feature of the interior is its profound emptiness. Many who enter the church say they find it disturbing. The distinct void space and absolute quiet amounts to a sense of serenity. For Ando the idea of
different. It is meant to transfer someone into the realm of the spiritual. The emptiness is meant to invade the occupant
the spiritual to fill them.
dark volume into an illuminated box.
Ando’s approach to light and concrete in
The church has an area of roughly 113 m²
the Church of the Light, as well as his
about the same size as a small house.
other projects, has a surreal effect that
The church was planned as an add-on to
the wooden chapel and minister's house
immaterial, dark into light, light into
that already existed at the site. The
Church of the Light consists of three
The space of the chapel is defined by light, the strong contrast between light and solid. In the chapel light enters from behind the altar from a cross cut in the concrete wall that extends vertically from floor to ceiling and horizontally from wall to wall, aligning perfectly with
5.9m concrete cubes (5.9m wide x 17.7m long x 5.9m high) penetrated by a wall angled at 15°, dividing the cube into the chapel and the entrance area. One indirectly enters the church by slipping between the two volumes, one that contains the Sunday school and the other that contains the worship hall. The
65 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
benches, along with the floor boards, are
thick, solid, massive, and permanent.
made of re-purposed scaffolding used in
The main reinforced concrete shell of the
Church of the Light is 15 inches thick.
It took more than two years to complete. The delay in completing the work was due to problems in raising the necessary funds. Initially it was feared that it would cost more than the budget and Ando even considered building it without a roof, but the construction firm donated the roof and this became unnecessary. The one element carried through Tadao Ando's structures is his idolization of the reinforced concrete wall. The importance given to walls is a distinct departure from Modernist architecture. They are usually made of 'in-situ' poured in place concrete. Considerable care is taken to see that the walls are as perfect as technique will allow. These walls are
66 | R e p o r t
The spaces in Mies’s works were designed in such a way that they can be used for multiple purposes rather
than function only as one entity.
Minimum use of opaque materials
The following inferences are drawn after
like concrete and bricks to achieve a
completing the study the concepts of
structure that responds to nature
minimalism and critically analysing the
and the inhabitant feels connected
works of Mies and Tadao Ando:
to the surroundings.
Minimal design can be achieved only
Since most of the Mies’s work was in
when only those elements are
Chicago (a cold city), use of steel and
included which are adequately
glass in tall buildings helped to
important in a building and omitting
achieve the degree of warmth in the
the needless elements.
Lighting and colors are the key to
Extensive use of glass also caused
define a space designed with
Mies’s a fair bit of problems
minimal approach. Lighting is used
regarding the privacy in privately
for highlighting certain elements
while colors are used in such a way
House was a controversial project
that they bring out an expression
that Mies undertook. The owner
out of the space.
wasn’t happy seeing the outcome of
Materials are other most important
the weekend getaway home as it
aspect as they help in defining the
concerned her of her privacy.
space and deriving the purpose and
The other thing that Mies focused
function of that space.
on was creating the whole space
Mies used materials to define the
space and not physical barriers,
rather than defining the space with
which in turn helped to create a free
a sole function and purpose.
flowing and large space.
Tadao Ando’s work is different in some aspects of the lemenets and
67 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
approach being used, though the
the day time, hence helping to
motive is same as that of Mies:
creating a clutter and barrier free
space with adequate functionality.
building itself stands out, not
merging with the nature.
Use of open space was prominent in
of designing the building.
The only thing which Ando couldn’t
Ando’s works too but not as
do was apply his concepts to high
prominent as in Mies’s. There were
rise buildings. Almost all the projects
physical partitions that separated
he did were low height buldings.
Plain bare concrete facades with window opening was his typical style
elements and simple construction.
nature’s element in a way that the
architecture which featured serene environments,
building a structure that would defy
His projects are highly influenced by traditional
planning. He conceived the idea of
regarding the site layout and
Ando’s use of lights has been the most influencing works. He used strategically placed voids to let the natural light come in. this also helped in creating day lit spaces in
68 | R e p o r t
69 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
List of Figures
Figure 1 Social Housing in Monte Hacho by MGM ...................................................................... 1 Figure 2 White Wolf Hotel by AND-RĂ‰ ........................................................................................ 3 Figure 3 Kuehn Malvezzi - House of Prayer and Learning ........................................................... 5 Figure 4 House for Gudrun by Sven Matt.................................................................................... 5 Figure 5 Farnsworth House - Mies van der Rohe ........................................................................ 5 Figure 6 Reykjavik House - Moomoo Architects.......................................................................... 8 Figure 8 Villa Extramuros In Arraiolos, Alentejo by Vora Arquitectura....................................... 8 Figure 7 A church in Germany built with several arches and ellipses, an example of geometrical shapes being used in minimal design.......................................................................................... 8 Figure 9 Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart (1927)......................................................................... 12 Figure 10 Riehl House, Potsdam (1907) .................................................................................... 13 Figure 11 Tugendhat House, Potsdam (1930) ........................................................................... 13 Figure 12 Bauhaus School, Germany of which Mies overtook the directorship in 1933 ........... 14 Figure 13 German Pavilion (best- known as Barcelona Pavilion), Barcelona (1929) ................. 14 Figure 14 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments, Chicago (1951) ............................................ 16 Figure 15 S.R. Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (1956) .............................. 17 Figure 16 Farnsworth House, Fox River, Chicago (1951)........................................................... 21 Figure 17 The Seagram Building, New York (1958) ................................................................... 21 Figure 18 The Toronto Dominion Centre, Toronto (1969) ........................................................ 22 Figure 19The Brno Chair, which was designed for the Tugendhat House, Brno, Czechoslovakia. .................................................................................................................................................. 25 Figure 20 The Tugendhat Chair ................................................................................................. 25 Figure 21 The Barcelona Chair, Barcelona Couch, Barcelona Stool and the X-Table/Barcelona Table in a living room. These four pieces of furniture are a part of the Barcelona Pavilion and were also used in the Tugendhat House, Brno ......................................................................... 25 Figure 22 The MR Chaise Lounge Chair. There were two versions of this chair made; one with adjustable seat and the other was fixed. It was a part of the MR furniture range designed by Mies. ......................................................................................................................................... 27 Figure 23 The MR Chair in Tugendhat house, Brno................................................................... 27 Figure 24 Floor Plan of the Barcelona Pavilion .......................................................................... 29
70 | R e p o r t
Figure 25 View of Barcelona Pavilion showing the roof, large water basin and the stone on the edge of basin. ........................................................................................................................... 31 Figure 26 Interior view of the pavilion showing the furniture, the red silk curtain, onyx dore wall on the right of the furniture and the milky-glass wall lit by lighting.................................. 31 Figure 27 Exclusively designed furniture for the Pavilion adjoining the onyx dore wall. .......... 33 Figure 28 The covered space by the side of the large pool and the travertine benches. ......... 33 Figure 29 Farnsworth House, Illinois ........................................................................................ 34 Figure 30 Farnsworth House, Illinois during the Fox River floods. During the floods, the house can only be approached by a canoe. ........................................................................................ 35 Figure 31 Floor plan of Farnsworth House, Illinois showing the surrounding vegetation and the interiors .................................................................................................................................... 37 Figure 32 Elevations and sections of Farnsworth House, Illinois .............................................. 38 Figure 33 The living room in Farnsworth House, Illinois. In here are the furniture that were designed by Mies; the Barcelona Couch, MR Chair and the Tugendhat Chair. ........................ 40 Figure 34 Isometric section of Farnsworth House showing joining details, materials and steel members used in construction ................................................................................................. 41 Figure 35 The Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York ........................................................ 42 Figure 36 The Plaza in front of the Seagram Building. It spans around 30 mt. from the edge of road. ......................................................................................................................................... 43 Figure 37 Ground Floor Plan, Seagram building, Park Avenue, New York ................................ 44 Figure 38 Typical Floor Plan from 2nd to 38th floor, Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York ................................................................................................................................................. 44 Figure 39 Construction in progress for the Seagram Building, New York. ................................ 46 Figure 40 Interior view of the office space overlooking the New York city............................... 46 Figure 41 Rokko Housing One, Kobe, Japan (1983) .................................................................. 49 Figure 42 Chapel on Mount Rokko, Japan (1986) ..................................................................... 49 Figure 43 Azuma House, Osaka Japan (1976) ........................................................................... 49 Figure 44 The Japan Pavilion, Seville, Spain (1992)................................................................... 51 Figure 45 Awaji-Yumebutai, Awaji, Hyogo (2000)..................................................................... 51 Figure 46 The Church of Light, Osaka, Japan (1989) ................................................................. 54 Figure 47 Koshino House, Hyogo, Japan (1980) ........................................................................ 56 Figure 48 Architectural drawings for the Koshino Hoouse, Hyogo, Japan ................................ 57 Figure 49 The back corridor leads to bedrooms ....................................................................... 59 Figure 50 Living Room, Koshino House ..................................................................................... 59 Figure 51 Study Room, Koshino House ..................................................................................... 59 71 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
Figure 52 Access path between two blocks .............................................................................. 59 Figure 53 The Atelier, added four years after construction ...................................................... 59 Figure 54 The Church Of Light, Osaka, Japan (1989)................................................................. 62 Figure 55 The edge showing the connection of the tilted entrance wall .................................. 64 Figure 56 Site plan of the church complex showing the chapel, school and minister's house .. 64 Figure 57 Circular bench outside the school building ............................................................... 64
72 | R e p o r t
MIES VAN DER ROHE, by CLAIRE ZIMMERMAN, [ISBN 978-3-8228-3643-9] TASCHEN GmbH ©2014
TADAO ANDO, by MASAO FURUYAMA, [ISBN 84-252-1652-4] BIRKHAUSER ©1996
73 | S t u d y o f P r i n c i p l e s & W o r k s o f A r c h i t e c t s
74 | R e p o r t
A report on the contemporary trends in minimalist architecture around the world that takes it cues from the masters of this style, Mies & An...
Published on Jun 4, 2015
A report on the contemporary trends in minimalist architecture around the world that takes it cues from the masters of this style, Mies & An...