Ludwig van der Rohe: The Architecture of a 20th Century Artist

Many of the designer’s whose works we feature on our site are individuals whose talents were so great that they could not be contained within a single field. Take the extraordinary 20th century designer Ludwig van der Rohe whose furniture we showcase on our site. While Mies van der Rohe furniture is known the world around, his architectural works are equally well known. Buildings designed by Rohe include:

  • Farnsworth House
  • The Barcelona Pavilion
  • Chicago Federal Center Complex
  • Crown Hall
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
  • The Seagram Building
  • Villa Tugendhat
  • Lafayette Park
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Cullinan Hall
  • Neue Nationalgalerie

When it comes to design, Rohe believed that less was more. His minimalistic philosophy is shown all throughout his furniture designs such as in with Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair. The chair itself is a product of Rohe’s “International style” which inspired midcentury modernism. The Barcelona chair is a sleekly designed, genuine masterpiece made of leather and stainless steel. As to the buildings he designed, some of the above highlights include:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (MLKML): This building is rare among Rohe’s architectural accomplishments because it is not only the sole library he ever designed, but it is a rare example of modern architecture in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, for those who wish to tour it, it is closed for updates until the year 2020.
  • The Barcelona Pavilion: This building was used for the official opening of the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. It stands out in term of design because although it is minimalistic, as all of Rohe’s works are, it effectively uses fanciful materials such as marble, red onyx and
  • Villa Tugendhat: An icon of modernism, this building is located in Brno, Czech Republic and is one of the oldest structures reflective of European modernism.

So, as you can see Rohe’s talents were unbounded by a single field. He excelled in his furniture designs particularly with his Barcelona chair. Rohe also designed day beds, sofa, tables and chaise as well as other furnishings in the modernist style. His achievements in architecture also reflect his enormous talent. Most of his architectural works stand to this day and have become icons in the modernist design movement.