Mies van der Rohe on the Building Art - The Artless World

Mies van der Rohe on the Building Art - The Artless World

This is a very detailed book about this architects views on the new age of modernism. As a teacher, architects, and visionary he was developing his theories as he went, like the rest of us, but with intense thought as his country, Germany, was coming to a major change, the Nazis.

These are some of his words I have chosen to amplify. I have adapted them for simplify without changing their meaning to me.

  • The language of our time. Expressive – inner attitude
  • Visible realization according to a new definition of order
  • “The result of the given of the site”
  • Interlocking optical effect of theoretical demands with formal decisions
  • Organization - clarity – economy
  • Clarification first is the act of thinking
  • The world of our creation will blossom from within
  • Platonic concept – truth renders testimony itself
  • Spiritual and formal perfection - The secrete of life lay hidden in the intrinsic
  • Search for patterns and construction means – respect - search for the essence
  • Separation of the essential from the trivial
  • Spiritual content releases its from and movement into space
  • Honorary gift of respect – loyalty to devotion of action
  • Always look beyond – intellectuals, artists, industry, finance --- layering-form- planes-order-protective- supportive - hierarchy – depth of space
  • Unifying nature and human consciousness into a complementary whole
  • Stroll under the colonnades – find our way back to the whole
  • Reason—science – progress – spirit and nature co-exist – the process of unfolding
  • Service and obedience = self-realization – translate virtue into nobility
  • Breathtaking experience – intrinsic honesty to the bone – total sympathy
  • The deed – hit the nail on  the head – origin and Utopia
  • Building is servicing- it should stand the test of time – transformation
  • Reason leads to an idea of beauty – radiance of truth – Gothic
  • Constructive spirit is loved by the Greeks
  • Architectonic + form giving
  • Liberation of building activity from aesthetic speculators
  • Le Corbusier – the mastery, current of magnificent plan of masses brought together in light, stinging the emotions – the battle against gravity
  • Dematerialize skin and bones – mathematical logic
  • Bauhaus – stand in the harmony with world laws – discipline of will – conditionless surrender - inside spacial organization – “always has been and always will” – childhood forms
  • Overcome isolation and dislocation
  • Look at leaf huts, ocean liners, walrus ribs and skin – post and beam construction, igloos, long houses
  • Copernican revolution of independent thinking. We are. We will. We create.
  • Nietzsche – The will to Life. Be responsible for your choices.
  • Expressive nature of creative energy organizes the process of mankind and social production.
  • Vitruvius – “Firma- utilitas – venustas” – function suits its purpose
  • Pedestal vs pavilion
  • Matter is not the object but the condition of experience
  • Put conviction to the test – Risk – Put spirituality concerns before materialistic ones
  • We know no form only building problems – reject aesthetic speculation
  • The problem of the eternal form starts with the problem of space, from the smallest cell.
  • It’s a breathing organism
  • “To each man his own” does not solve humanities conditions – Restrain!!
  • Articulate space freely inside and out – transparency - attitude
  • Architecture reveals whether form was arrived at from the direction of or for its own sake.
  • Authenticity and intensity of life – overlapping spatial sequence – flexible – space in motion
  • Carving limited space out of an infinite one – in search of a higher order
  • It is exactly the question pf values that is decisive in setting the specific quality of life
  • Do not lose sight of history. A new sense of attitude
  • Use this opportunity to help the masses – especially if you can afford it. – Elitism must disappear.
  • There needs to be a more modern economic energy and theory. The many have a right.
  • If not for you, who will propel society toward the future?
  • We are at a metaphysical bridgehead – there is lawlessness of a spiritual order
  • Object and subject are fundamental to the idea of culture.
  • The eternal law of architecture uses purpose, order, space, proportions with unity of construction.
  • Francis motto “Those who have nothing have it all.”
  • Thoughtfulness of steeping aside – here we must take a stand!
  • Trust the creative power, the purpose of life.


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