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Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography

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Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best re Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best recent work of American and German scholars. The authors’ major new discoveries include the massive transcript of the early-1950s Farnsworth House court case, which discloses for the first time the facts about Mies’s epic battle with his client Edith Farnsworth. Giving voice to dozens of architects who knew and worked with (and sometimes against) Mies, this comprehensive biography tells the compelling story of how Mies and his students and followers created some of the most significant buildings of the twentieth century.   “Franz Schulze’s 1985 biography of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has always been acknowledged as the most comprehensive and thoughtful biography of one of the key figures in twentieth-century architecture. This revised edition with significant new scholarship by its two authors will undoubtedly come to occupy the same position.”—Dietrich Neumann, Brown University


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Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best re Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best recent work of American and German scholars. The authors’ major new discoveries include the massive transcript of the early-1950s Farnsworth House court case, which discloses for the first time the facts about Mies’s epic battle with his client Edith Farnsworth. Giving voice to dozens of architects who knew and worked with (and sometimes against) Mies, this comprehensive biography tells the compelling story of how Mies and his students and followers created some of the most significant buildings of the twentieth century.   “Franz Schulze’s 1985 biography of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has always been acknowledged as the most comprehensive and thoughtful biography of one of the key figures in twentieth-century architecture. This revised edition with significant new scholarship by its two authors will undoubtedly come to occupy the same position.”—Dietrich Neumann, Brown University

30 review for Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wouter

    A good overview of Mies van der Rohe's life and work, which may work best as simply an introduction to his oeuvre. The book is ordered chronologically and I particularly liked the first half of this book, which described the social context of his life and work in more elaborate detail than the second half, which veered towards more technical analysis of his buildings (which I personally found less interesting). For more detailed studies of his buildings and more penetrating analysis, other (more A good overview of Mies van der Rohe's life and work, which may work best as simply an introduction to his oeuvre. The book is ordered chronologically and I particularly liked the first half of this book, which described the social context of his life and work in more elaborate detail than the second half, which veered towards more technical analysis of his buildings (which I personally found less interesting). For more detailed studies of his buildings and more penetrating analysis, other (more specialized) books on Mies may be more useful.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kurishin

    An ezcellent biography, written in a surprisingly readable style. Mies architecture is described and analyzed. One would expect the former, this biography also, as advertised, provides the latter. The authors attempt to dig into Mies' personality and motivations. How and why did he design such, for his era, such original architecture? These important questions are answered, providing guidance to non-architects as to how to develop original products/designs in other fields. I'm not going to answe An ezcellent biography, written in a surprisingly readable style. Mies architecture is described and analyzed. One would expect the former, this biography also, as advertised, provides the latter. The authors attempt to dig into Mies' personality and motivations. How and why did he design such, for his era, such original architecture? These important questions are answered, providing guidance to non-architects as to how to develop original products/designs in other fields. I'm not going to answer this question. Read the book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gabe Labovitz

    A very readable and humanizing portrait of this man who, for most of us, is probably relatively inscrutable. It is challenging reading during Mies' early years in Germany. Unless you read German, a lot of the names and places will challenge you. Likewise, many of Mies' early influences, among architects and artists, were relatively esoteric for me. But upon Mies' immigration to America, I found it much easier to follow. A very readable and humanizing portrait of this man who, for most of us, is probably relatively inscrutable. It is challenging reading during Mies' early years in Germany. Unless you read German, a lot of the names and places will challenge you. Likewise, many of Mies' early influences, among architects and artists, were relatively esoteric for me. But upon Mies' immigration to America, I found it much easier to follow.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Fred M

    Gets off to a slow start with the early years, but by the time it gets to the magnificent Barcelona Pavilion, it's fascinating and just keeps getting better. This man invented modern architecture from scratch, it's incredible really. It became fashionable to look down on him for a while, but now we see him for the giant he was. Can't wait to get back to Manhattan and visit the Seagram Building again. Gets off to a slow start with the early years, but by the time it gets to the magnificent Barcelona Pavilion, it's fascinating and just keeps getting better. This man invented modern architecture from scratch, it's incredible really. It became fashionable to look down on him for a while, but now we see him for the giant he was. Can't wait to get back to Manhattan and visit the Seagram Building again.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Clarence Goodman

    As dull as Mies' designs. As dull as Mies' designs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Afiag

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  9. 4 out of 5

    BJ

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fredric Chung

  11. 5 out of 5

    Deana

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Nadēr

  13. 5 out of 5

    Corey Jones

  14. 4 out of 5

    David Cox

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Dilger

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ben Royal

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  18. 5 out of 5

    William Miller

  19. 5 out of 5

    James

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ferry

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  22. 5 out of 5

    Šárka

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paulina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Zimmerman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fredric Y. Chung

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brigitte Rist

  27. 4 out of 5

    Clivebixby

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dalia Treinytė

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennisse

  30. 5 out of 5

    Najeeb

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