Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mies Blueprints 2

The Mies blueprints have arrived from Chicago. I'm very excited, seeing as they were printed eight years before I was born, and they are of the Commons Building at IIT, which as far as I can see served little function at all, so is ideal Mies. Plans of the Commons building, sparce to the point of nothing, and drawn by Hilbersheimer, proudly occupy the centre of my only book on IIT that has now become book of the week in the base room (of course).
I can't look at the damn blueprints yet because Scott has been making a mess. There is filth everywhere. Such is the way. However I'm damn sure Scott's tiling, which proceeds with the laborious ardor of a Soviet era film masterpiece, is thankfully better than the tiling in the bathroom upstairs but worse than the tiling in the New National Gallery Berlin, in that the grids for floor wall and ceiling do not actually connect. If they do and you are not in the National Gallery Berlin you should stop, because your domestic kitchen or bathroom will start to feel like a very unfortunate form of laboratory.
And on the unfortunate subject of which, Mies and the Third Reich, I am reading on upstairs. A most amusing page (so far) comes when Mies, director of the Bauhaus in Berlin which has just been raided somewhat accidentally by the Gestapo, and fierce believer in it's political independence (!!) goes to see Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi director of cultural policy (or whatever). The two men were probably quite similarly scary in demeanor. They were both big. Rosenberg was a Big Balt, but Rosenberg's theory on art issues as biological rather than aesthetic (!!!) makes him the great deal worse. After a fairly tortuous exchange, Mies loses it, and ends up remarking that Rosenberg's writing desk is crap and he'd throw it out of the window. Such is the weighty conjugation of design and politics at the time.
'That's the whole problem with the Nazi's' Scott chirped up sardonically 'it would all have been OK if they'd had better taste in desks!' Thats why you should always employ a smart, messy, builder to bring it down to earth (not soil).

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