Mies at Home is a radical rereading of one of the most significant periods in Mies van der Rohe’s career, from the mid- to late 1920s when he was developing his seminal spatial ideas— ideas that would culminate in his celebrated design of the Tugendhat House.
The book examines how Mies’s experience of residing in his apartment, doubling as a studio, in central Berlin had an impact on his spatial concepts. It uncovers one of the most profound but virtually untold aspects of Mies’s development: how his visions of an ideal lifestyle came out of his own living experience and how they, in turn, informed his domestic architecture. Mies’s quest featured two breakthroughs. In the Weissenhof apartment building, he conveyed a flexible and manifold lifestyle that many of the avant-garde artists, including himself, were practicing. Later, in the Tugendhat House, he put forward an alternative way of living that centered on contemplation.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, Mies at Home offers a fresh investigation of the diverse intentions and strategies the architect used in creating his iconic open spaces. It will be an insightful read for researchers, academics, and students in architectural history and theory.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction. Domesticating Mies
PART I: THE WORLD MIES INHABITED
Chapter 1. Mies’s Writing in the 1920s: A Transitional Moment
Chapter 2. Mies’s Life at Am Karlsbad 24: An Inspiration
PART II: THE WORLD MIES CREATED
Chapter 3. The Weissenhof Apartment Building: Affirming Flexible Living
Chapter 4. Devising a Way of Living, Planning a Dwelling: A New Consensus
Chapter 5. Economic or Aesthetic: Directions in Solving the Housing Problem
Chapter 6. Revisiting the Tugendhat House: An Elevated Living
Epilogue. Whose Home and Whose Vision of Living?
Xiangnan Xiong is an assistant professor at School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. She obtained a Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. from the University of Virginia, and a B.Arch. from the South China University of Technology. Xiong’s research focuses primarily on German modern architecture. Her recent publications and teaching probe into the reciprocal interactions between the evolution of dwellings and ways of living.
"Xiangnan Xiong has produced a groundbreaking study of the pivotal moment in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's career, when he began the exploration of new ideas of space and living that eventually reached their apotheosis in two of his masterworks: the Barcelona Pavilion and the Tugendhat House. Her radical assertion, that Mies's own patterns of living and working in his Berlin apartment were fundamental to his spatial breakthrough of the late 1920s, will doubtless reshuffle long-held assumptions and offer us a new and more interesting Mies. This is a splendid and important work of scholarship. "
- Christopher Long, Martin S. Kermacy Centennial Professor, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, USA.
"In her original, imaginative study of the houses and the apartments Mies van der Rohe has conceived in Europe, Xiangnan Xiong operates a Copernican revolution: she identifies as the source for the emergence of his main ideas about domestic architecture his own home in the center of Berlin. Thanks to this new genealogy, unseen patterns appear in his designs, and the often repetitive Miesian scholarship is challenged."
- Jean-Louis Cohen, Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, USA.