If you’re wondering why the Google Doodle looks like it is housed in a modernist building Tuesday (March 27), it is because Google is celebrating what would be the 126th birthday of German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Mies is generally regarded as one of the fathers of modern architecture. He liked minimalist spaces and used industrial materials, like steel and plate glass, in many of his famous buildings. He got his start in his father’s stone-carving shop and later apprenticed under German architect Peter Behrens, but Mies had no formal education other than that.
In the build-up to World War II, he fled Germany for America and settled in Chicago, which is where he worked his entire 31 years in the U.S. He is credited with the Second Chicago School movement of architecture, which is still on display in Chicago-area buildings Farnsworth House, Crown Hall, the Chicago Federal Complex, apartments 860-880 on Lakeshore Drive, the Seagram building in New York City, two buildings for the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the new National Gallery in Berlin.
Mies died in 1969 at the age of 83 and is buried in Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery near other famous architects. Below is S.R. Crown Hall, a building Mies designed on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus.
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