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Feb 25, 2019

Most people refer to architect Mies van der Rohe as Mies, which puts him into that rare club of people known by their first names, like Cher or Sting or Wynonna.  Born in Germany, Mies was into totally architect Adolf Loos -- who famously declared that ornament is a crime and pursued unadorned Modernist design to represent the new era of technology and production. Mies got worldwide attention with two projects, the Barcelona Pavilion and the Villa Tugenhat. He joined the avant-garde Bauhaus school as director of architecture and left Germany in 1937 to head up the architecture school at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He designed many buildings on that campus including Crown Hall for the School of Architecture. Along with Gropius and Lecorbusier, Mies is widely regarded as one of the masters of Modernist architecture. Mies died fifty years ago in 1969.  One of this three daughters was named Marianne, and her son became a talented architect in his own right.

Dirk Lohan, grandson of Mies van der Rohe, was born near Berlin in 1938 and left Germany to study with his grandfather at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  Later, he worked with Mies designing projects as the New National Gallery in Berlin, the IBM office building in Chicago and The Toronto Dominion Centre.  He's known for the renovated Soldier Field, the original McDonald's campus (where he witnessed the first McNuggets), and many other buildings. He served on the Board of the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Board of Directors of Chicago Maritime Museum, and not surprisingly, the Mies van der Rohe Society.