2019 Marks 50 Years Since the Death of Bauhaus Pioneer Mies van der Rohe

August 22, 2019

image © Farnsworth House

This week marks 50 years since the death of modernist architect and Bauhaus pioneer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The famous architect was born in Aachen, Germany in 1886 and began his career in Berlin before becoming the final director of the Bauhaus school from 1930 to 1933.

Following Nazi persecution of the Bauhaus school and his architectural style, van der Rohe decided to emigrate to the United States in 1937, where he settled in Chicago, Illinois. There, as the head of the architecture school at what later became the Illinois Institute of Technology, van der Rohe began to design buildings that have come to define the Chicago skyline.

Over the course of his 31-year career in the United States, he was responsible for iconic buildings across the country, from just outside Chicago to Baltimore and Houston. For his final work, he brought his work full circle and returned to his native Germany to design the New National Gallery in Berlin.

One of his best-known works, the Farnsworth House outside of Chicago, will be presenting the iconic structure in a new light – literally- with Geometry of Light. This light-based art intervention by Luftwerk in collaboration with Iker Gil will project light and patterns both inside the house and on the grounds around it. Presented in concert with a sound-piece developed in direct response to the site by Oriol Tarragó, Geometry of Light will reveal underlying geometries that relate the house to its river floodplain site, topography, and natural landscape.

This year, Wunderbar Together is also celebrating 100 years of the Bauhaus school itself. Several exciting projects, like the Virtual Bauhaus VR experience, the traveling exhibit, and Discover Design – Discover Bauhaus workshops, are giving visitors across the US the chance to look back on the history and legacy of the Bauhaus movement.

Want to experience Bauhaus for yourself? Check out our events page to find an event near you!

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