Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mies Van Der Rohe: Less is More, part of "Vision of Space" series by BBC presented by Robert Hughes

video topic: architect's work
video type: documentary
video no: 13

architect featured: Mies Van Der Rohe
video title: Mies Van Der Rohe: Less is More
video series: part of "Vision of Space" series by BBC
Presenter: Robert Hughes
Directed by: Robert Hughes
Studio: BBC
run time: 59 minutes
file size: 600 mb

reference:,,, youtube


description and preview:
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In Visions of Space, Robert Hughes tackles the work and lives of three remarkable 20th-century architects: Antonio Gaudi, Albert Speer and Mies van der Rohe - whose work did so much to shape the modern world. Hughes looks at how each one used space in different ways to express our response, respectively, to the power of religion (Gaudi), the power of the State (Speer), and the power of the corporation (Mies van der Rohe). 

Mies van der Rohe: Less is More

This episode features the German architect, Mies van der Rohe, who moved to America and discovered the face of the modern corporate city. In this highly personal account, Hughes follows in Mies' footsteps looking at how an architect who began his career making kitschy, Hansel and Gretel style houses with pointy roofs, little windows and squat floorplans transformed himself into the master of international modernism - the architect of light and space.

Mies is the father of the contemporary vogue for loft living - what he was building in the 1920s still looks futuristic now. Similarly, his New York masterpiece the Seagrams Building provided the blueprint for the modern office building - without Mies no major city on Earth would look as it does.

But despite his undeniable impact there is something in Mies' work that Hughes finds shockingly neglectful of real human needs. This master builder could spend days working out how to turn a corner with a skilfully placed beam and totally ignore the legitimate wishes and desires of those who used his buildings.


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