Mies' Illinois Institute of Technology: Spatial Experience of Structure in American Urban Planning around WWII

By Ramón Serrano Avilés.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 29, 2014 $US5.00

In the years immediately before the United States entered World War II, urban planning in American cities was already conditioned by specific social circumstances that led to a new conceptualization of the prospects of urban intervention in the city. In this context, Mies van der Rohe’s design for the Illinois Institute of Technology Campus in Chicago remains significant for its subtle interpretation of Modernist planning, which particularly suited the urban transformations and new agents operating in the American contemporary city after the war ended. When reconsidered accordingly with the ideas of his collaborators, the design provides an understanding of its particular constructed environment from its conception. By means of an exposure of its ultimate order, the campus “master plan” was able to enhance an experience of the city structure that stood out, expressed through the open formal logic of its architectural elements. Despite its rapidly transforming urban context, this strategy ensured a successful continuity in time of this long-term development.

Keywords: Illinois Institute of Technology, Mies van der Rohe, American Urban Planning

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 4, Issue 4, October 2014, pp.47-63. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 29, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 989.560KB)).

Ramón Serrano Avilés

Ph.D Candidate, Composición Arquitectónica Departament, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid, Spain