Jul, 1, 2011,
11:21 AM

Architects honored, Mies remembered

Last week was a good one for Mies’ legacy. Berlin’s Neues Museum, designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, received the biennial Mies van der Rohe Award in a ceremony on June 20. The Museum is a mix of old and new—originally built in the mid 1800s, it was damaged during World War II and rebuilt from 1997-2009 under Chipperfield’s direction (part of the remodeled interior is featured in this photograph). Lluis Hortet, the director of the Barcelona-based Mies van der Rohe Foundation, which organizes this award granted by the European Union, explained that the Museum “is a very important statement of how a contemporary architectural intervention contributes to the re-use of our heritage by improving its functional qualities.” See a video of Chipperfield accepting the award here.

The following day, AIA New York bestowed the Medal of Honor, the organization’s highest tribute, on Daniel Libeskind, fifty-three years after Mies won the same. Libeskind was recognized for designing the World Trade Center, to be completed in 2014, along with other projects worldwide. While Libeskind isn’t a known disciple of Mies, his philosophic approach to architecture is that it is reliant upon one’s cultural context—not unlike Mies’ assertion that architecture is the expression of one’s civilization. 


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Jun, 30, 2011,
8:00 AM

Build a LEGO City in Crown Hall

Saturday, July 23, 2011
Free of charge, registration required for each session:
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. online registration: BOOKED
1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. online registration here

Help build a city of LEGOs within S. R. Crown Hall. We’ll provide the building blocks, you provide the imagination. Projects created by pint-sized architects and their adult helpers will be displayed in Crown Hall on Sunday, July 24.

Adam Tucker, architect of the recently released Farnsworth House LEGO set, will spend the day building a large-scale version of Mies’ Plano, Illinois-based masterpiece while engaging the public in conversation.

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Jun, 29, 2011,
3:34 PM

SANAA in S. R. Crown Hall

Founders of SANAA, the 2010 Pritzker Prize-winning architectural firm, visited S. R. Crown Hall this afternoon. They were spotted by two College of Architecture students who work for the Mies Society, Chris Kleehammer (far left) and Archit Sawhney (far right). Ryue Nishizawa (inside left) and Kazuyo Sejima (inner right) are speaking in a sold-out lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago tonight, an event for which Kleehammer and Sawhney bought tickets weeks ago.

So just how did this duo spot these famous but low-key architects? “I really admire their work a lot, and I did a paper on them,” Sawhney said. “I just remembered their pictures.” He said the four of them had a brief conversation about Crown Hall.

SANAA was short-listed as a finalist in the design of Illinois Institute of Technology’s McCormick Tribune Campus Center, which opened in 2003 and was designed by Rem Koolhaas.

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Jun, 27, 2011,
8:00 AM

Crown Hall Exhibits Open Through July 31st

Each summer, the Mies Society upholds Crown Hall’s role as a “home of ideas and adventures" by hosting an annual art exhibition. This summer, we’ve been lucky to feature two Chicago-based artists. Their work will be up through July 31st.

The Common Citizenship of Forms features the work of Jeff Carter, whose scale models made from IKEA furniture replicate the Michael Reese Hospital buildings—designed by Bauhaus founder, Walter Gropius—that were demolished last year. This installation comments on IKEA’s marketing of design-centric living using products of limited durability and on how this concept both embraces and rejects tenets of Modernist ideology.

It All Comes Back, an interactive installation by Christopher Furman’s Chicago Robotic Theater tells a story about memory and decision-making in the wide-open space of Crown Hall—free from obstacles to memories, ideas, dreams, or nostalgia.  IIT students collaborated with Furman to program the robots, and the exhibition’s parts were fabricated in the university’s Idea Shop.

Get full details here. We hope to see you on campus this summer!

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