Today marks the anniversary of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 126th birthday and to celebrate the life and groundbreaking career of one of history’s most influential architects, Google has reconstructed their ubiquitous four-colour logo into Mies’ 1956 masterpiece, the S. R. Crown Hall. Considered to be one of the most iconic and significant buildings of the 20th Century Modernist architecture, the two-storey hall is the home of the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago where Mies held the position of director of Department of Architecture.
Below, some of the candid extracts from ‘Conversations with Mies van der Rohe’ book published by Princeton Architectural Press:
Mies on clients:
“Never talk to a client about architecture. Talk to him about his children. That is simply good politics. He will not understand what you have to say about architecture most of the time. An architect of ability should be able to tell a client what he wants. Most of the time a client never knows what he wants. He may, of course, have some very curious ideas, and I do not mean to say that they are silly ideas. But untrained in architecture they cannot know what is possible and what is not possible.“
Mies on colleagues and teamwork:
“I do not think very much of this sort of forced teamwork myself. The teamwork in our field is between architect, mechanical engineer, and structural engineer. That is where teamwork comes in. It is no use working with other architects. What can they do? Who does what? I think it would be better, say, to have different designs and choose. After all, why should I discuss my ideas with someone else? The most important things cannot be discussed anyway.”