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The tectonically defining space of Mies van der Rohe

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 February 2010

Ransoo Kim
Affiliation:
449-728 College of Architecture, Myongji University, San 38-2 Namdong, Cheoin-gu, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, kimransoo@mju.ac.kr

Extract

In a unique architectural style of the twentieth century, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) realised a new type of modern space defined by an unobstructed clear volume enclosed by framed glass skin. This is generally referred to as Mies's universal space and this paper will attempt to interpret Miesian universal space in terms of the idea of tectonically defining space. Mies referred to the term ‘tectonic’, or ‘architectonic’, as constructive appearance exposing the skeleton structure. For Mies, the concept of tectonic was connected to a glassy materiality that permitted the unambiguously constructed appearance of a skeletal structure. He regarded the glass skin as a ‘tectonic means’ and the instrument of a new art of building.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009

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