Oct 13, 2009

Mies van der Rohe - Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago


Built at the end of Mies' tenure at IIT, in the 1950s, Crown Hall houses the School of Architecture and City Planning, as well as the Institute of Design.
Without much doubt, it was Mies' most prized building on the entire campus.

A single, uninterrupted place (36,6x67m, with 5,5m height), Crown Hall was the largest interior space Mies had ever realized: one enormous, completely open, glass-enclosed room, which ceiling is suspendable from one exterior steel structure.
On Mies' own words, this easily adaptable place was "the clearest structure we have done, the best to express our philisophy".

If we compare these photographs with some older images made shortly after construction, I think it is interesting to observe what the patina of time has produced on this amazing structure; the creeping plants can't manage to hide the modernity and the genius of it's apparently simple design...

I made these photographs with a Horseman SW 612 Pro and a Gandolfi Variant 4x5 camera (MDF version, level III), using a Horseman 6x12 roll film back.
The lenses employed were either manufactured by Rodenstock or by Schneider.
The structure detail was shot on 6x7 with a Linhof Rapid Rollex roll film holder, used on the Gandolfi Variant.


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