Critical Realism Life and Form Avant garde Art and Life

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007 Ludwig Mies Riehl House Potsdam Neubabelsberg,1906 7 entrance from the upper walled garden. 008 Ludwig Mies at the Riehl house ca 1912, Riehl House Country In 1906 Bruno Paul recommended Mies to the philosopher Alois Riehl. and his wife Sophie who were looking to build a quiet house for. summers weekends and their imminent retirement in the fashionable. Whereas the neighbouring villas were built as Italian or German Re. naissance icons set within miniature picturesque gardens the Riehl. House was designed by Mies as a simple neo Biedermeier block. became the locus for an alternative way of life Critical of placing. houses as features in the centre of their lots and treating the garden. as a residual fragment of a picturesque landscape Muthesius argued. House Critical Realism Berlin suburb of Potsdam Neubabelsberg 008 Riehl was a celebrat. ed professor of philosophy at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in. Berlin and the Riehls became Mies s first patrons Although the. adapted to the local vernacular Its rectangular mass of light ochre. stucco was surmounted by a steeply peaked gable roof with eyebrow. dormers 007 010 012 Devoid of superfluous ornament the house. that gardens should be designed to be lived in They should be open. air equivalents to living rooms that could be used for dining bathing. and even sleeping 016 The Riehl House was included in the second. reasons for the clients trust in this relatively untested young man was defined by the tautness and geometric clarity of its volumes and edition of Muthesius s book Landhaus und Garten Country House. remain unclear Mies was sufficiently confident in his experience to the robust detailing of its balconies windows and doors Ornament and Garden in 1910 3. take up the challenge Like the architect the Riehls were clearly aware was reserved for the centre of the entrance front which features an. of the reform movements then influencing the design of housing and elegant stucco interlace of wreaths On the interior bright simple The functional reciprocity between inside and outside was to be. the applied arts but they eschewed the idea of marrying art and life rooms were well proportioned constructed of modest yet durable matched formally by subsuming both building and garden within an. an idea that had underpinned Jugendstil s efforts to increase the materials they were well built yet spare For all its studied modesty overarching architectural unity 009 The garden reform movement. sensuous pleasure of everyday experience They also eschewed the and simplicity however the house is remarkably subtle and complex promoted an architectonic garden which featured axial planning. pursuit of a total work of art Rather the couple took a more ascetic geometric planting and lattice trellises that made the garden more. approach similar to the sober and practical Arts and Crafts movement Rotated on the site and pushed to one side the building does not face architectural At the same time natural species sturdy perennials and. in England They embraced the idea of the country house as a build the street directly but rather recedes to make room for a formal ivy were reintroduced into common use to display nature s wildness. ing type directed at achieving a healthy and calm way of life lived on flower garden which serves as a space of reception and orientation against the foil of mathematical form This kind of garden was devel. the land The house was to provide not only an antidote to the con As a result the path leading from the street to the house first offers a oped in Germany by Paul Schultze Naumburg 1869 1949 as well as. gested and insalubrious metropolis but also an alternative to the panoramic view of the landscape beyond The level plane on which Muthesius and in Austria by Joseph Maria Olbrich 1867 1908 and. typical suburban villa it was to provide a place in which life and both house and garden sit was created by terracing the site which Josef Hoffmann 1870 1956. conversation could freely unfold slopes dramatically down towards the picturesque Lake Griebnitz and. the extensive landscape park of Potsdam While the long axis of the Writing just after the turn of the century Muthesius recognized that. The Riehls relationship with Mies went much further than is typical formal garden links the street with the distant view the cross axis the country house was still too expensive to be available to anyone. of the client architect relationship for they treated him as a son They leads on the left to the entrance of the house and on the right to the but the elite Its dissemination would come in time but was contingent. nurtured his personal intellectual development sent him on a study stairway and lower gardens on the reform of land tenure the end of land speculation improve. trip to Italy and introduced him to intellectual society in Berlin Through ments to transportation especially the railway and the integration. them Mies also developed a close friendship with Alois Riehl s pro The site s design exemplified the planning principles promoted for of industrialized methods of house construction Given the opportu. t g Eduard Spranger whom the couple also considered an adopted country houses by Hermann Muthesius who had studied the emer nity to organize a model housing estate for the German Werkbund in. son 1 The house completed in 1907 proved to be a remarkably ac gence of the type in England and its suitability for Germany 015 1927 the famous Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart Mies initially. complished debut for a twenty year old from the provinces who lacked Muthesius characterized metropolitan life in terms of hotel living envisioned an entire fabric of country houses with integrated gardens. higher education and had barely two years in Berlin Dependent on congestion disorder and alienation from the land In contrast the for middle class families. existing conventions it was nevertheless an ingenious transformation country house offered landownership clean air quiet and a calm. of precedents and contained many ideas that Mies would develop in setting for personal and family life He favoured spending evenings Although scholars and critics have paid little attention to Mies s gar. new directions later The house was immediately published and rec at home playing the piano over attending concerts as more educa dens some even edited them out of photographs and drawings. ognized by critics 2 tional and character building For the bourgeoisie the country house Barry Bergdoll recently showed how profoundly important they were. 20 Critical Realism Life and Form Riehl House Country House Critical Realism 21. 009 Riehl House site plan with ground floor plan,010 Riehl House view from street. 011 Riehl House view from the lower garden,012 Riehl House ground and upper floor plans. 013 Karl Foerster autochrome of the Riehl House garden. terrace and panorama beyond published in his Winter. harte Bl tenstauden und Str ucher der Neuzeit,Hardy Blooming Shrubs and Bushes for Today 1911.
014 Riehl House view of central multipurpose hall ca 1907. 009 010 012, 22 Critical Realism Life and Form Riehl House Country House Critical Realism 23. 020 Ludwig Mies Bismarck Memorial project Deutsches Dank. German Gratitude Bingen 1910, 021 Ludwig Mies third from right at the studio of Peter Behrens. in Neubabelsberg ca 1910 Walter Gropius is on the far left. and Adolf Meyer is to his right, Bismarck Memorial Seeking to expand his practice beyond furniture and interiors to include. entire buildings Bruno Paul hired the architect Paul Thiersch 1879. 1928 to manage his studio in 1907 1 Thiersch came from a family of. infused its walls tables chairs and chandeliers with animate energies. while the crystalline lines of the music room inscribed it with a radiance. bursting from the surface of precious stones rich woods glass and. By 1905 the art critic Julius Meier Graefe 1867 1935 would recognize. that Behrens had launched a new Renaissance with his designs for. the Garden and Art Exhibition in D sseldorf 1904 the Northwest. Form and Space Munich architects and had been working in D sseldorf for Peter. Behrens whose new classicism had greatly impressed him 2 Like. Behrens Wilhelm Kreis 1873 1955 Fritz Schumacher 1869 1947. mirrors in a gesture of transformation from within Both vegetal and. crystalline geometries served to symbolize purity and regeneration. German Art Exhibition at Oldenburg 1904 5 023 024 and the read. ing room of the D sseldorf City Library 1904 This was not he said. a literal reprise of the Italian Renaissance nor an evocation of Rome. and other young architects Thiersch longed for a strong monumen When Behrens moved to D sseldorf in 1903 to direct its School of but the expression of a more universal classicism rational elemen. tal architecture that would be in tune with the rhythm of the times yet Applied Arts he abandoned Jugendstil with its organic allusions tal Sachlich objective 6 Heinrich W lfflin 1864 1945 suggested that. would fulfil a desire for antiquity s feeling for life reuniting spirit soul emphasis on uniqueness and craft and elite patronage Like others art developed historically by alternating between linear or geometric. and body in a way that had thus far eluded modern efforts Thiersch s he now sought a style that could be more readily generalized for the styles such as the Renaissance with its closed clear individuated but. own later work favoured the expression of powerful masses with growing middle class and more easily modernized using machine lifeless forms and painterly styles such as the Baroque with its open. smooth uninterrupted surfaces regulated by harmonic proportions assisted modes of manufacturing He turned to geometric construc ambiguous melded together and enlivened forms 7 The Viennese. Working under Thiersch s direction in Paul s studio Mies designed in tions patterns and modular systems subsuming all scales of artefacts historian Alois Riegl 1858 1905 concluded similarly that new styles. 1907 a pavilion for the Lawn Tennis Club in Berlin Zehlendorf 022 an under the regulative laws of number proportion and form typically begin with a geometric phase 8 Behrens focused on the. elegant essay on the archetypal primitive hut featuring a classical logic of composition which could be seen to underpin not only. prostylus beneath a shallow hip roof located at the edge of a wood Asked much later what he had learned from Behrens Mies replied the Vitruvian tradition but also the Gothic and Egyptian He developed. Not long afterwards Thiersch recommended Mies to Behrens whose In one sentence I could perhaps state that I have learned the great an astylar geometry that sought to be at once radically modern and. studio he joined in the fall of 1908 021 form 3 But what exactly did this mean The quest for the great form radically archaic sophisticated and primitive timeless and timely. astylar and universal had become a leitmotif for art at the turn of Extending his new paradigm beyond the domestic realm his exhibi. At the time Behrens was arguably the most important modernist of the century promising to unify all modes of cultural expression The tion grounds were even more ambitious in their projections of an. his generation in Germany not only a gifted artist but also an influ desire for such a unity was fuelled as we have seen by the formal artistic totality effectively transforming the crystal from a symbolic. ential teacher and polemicist Having moved to Berlin in 1907 to work affinities that had united neoclassical art architecture furniture in figure into a stereometric medium still charged with transformative. with the Allgemeine Elektricit ts Gesellschaft AEG Germany s teriors and urban design a century earlier around 1800 4 With this and transcendental powers The forms and dimensions of site works. general electrical company his studio quickly became the locus of precedent in mind Behrens developed a crystalline version of neo buildings furniture pergolas benches lamps and even plantings. the most progressive design in Germany and attracted talented young classicism using a homogeneous geometry to create entire worlds were assimilated into a single formal system a remarkable demon. architects including Walter Gropius 1883 1969 and Le Corbusier of pure architectonics and pure spirit Behrens directed the opening stration that the principles of the architectonic garden could be placed. who would soon even sooner than Mies emerge as key protagonists ceremony for the colony a mystic ritual written by Georg Fuchs in the service of a transcendental artistic totality. of an international modern movement 1868 1949 set on the great stairs of Joseph Maria Olbrich s central. hall and choreographed to a poem by Richard Dehmel 1863 1920 Behrens s system employed modularity and proportion continuities. Like Paul Behrens had started his career in painting graphic art and As the chorus chanted they were led down the stairs by an artist across scales and materials and sharp outlines of individuated geo. the decorative arts but he had moved into architecture by 1901 with prophet in a long flowing gown carrying a shrouded sign a great metric forms and elements all techniques that Mies would later use. the design of his own house in the Darmstadt Artists Colony The house crystal The crystal gave the catalytic mission of the Wohnreform Solid and heavy Behrens s elemental masses were rendered with. demonstrated that Behrens could break with stylistic precedent and movement its most rarefied and ambitious artistic formulation 5 such extreme tautness that they became schematic and paradoxi. Avant garde Art and Life 58 Glass Skyscraper New Beginnings 82 Good Forms for New Types 92 Esters and Lange Houses New Language 114 Weissenhofsiedlung Urban Montage Task Mastering Modernity 138 Barcelona Pavilion Spiritualizing Technology 168 Tugendhat House An Elevated Personal Life 182 Neue Wache In the World and Against It 194 Bauhaus Education 210 Reichsbank In Dark Times Organic

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