2012, photograph: David Židlický

2012, photograph: David Židlický


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Martina Hrabová, Gramatika krásy. Práce Ludwiga Miese van der Rohe pro Brno a Barcelonu (The Grammar of Beauty. The Work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Brno and Barcelona), ARCHITEKT, volume. LVII, no. 1, 2012, pp. 58-67.

You can download the article here.

This article examines two projects by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe which played an essential role in his European architectural production prior to his emigration to the USA in 1938. A comparison of Villa Tugendhat in Brno and the German Pavilion in Barcelona attempts to examine the shared features of the buildings and their importance for the development of architecture in the 20th century. 

Both structures came about between the years 1928 and 1930 at widely separated ends of the European continent. They were constructed under different circumstances, for different commissioners and for different purposes. The so-called Barcelona Pavilion only existed in its material state for less than a year and is currently known from the reconstructed form completed in the year 1986. Villa Tugendhat is, in contrast, highly valued for its authenticity and the number of preserved original elements. 

Written upon the occasion of the reopening of Villa Tugendhat in March 2012, the text reconstructs the circumstances surrounding the emergence of both structures, examines speculations as to which came about earlier, the Villa or the Pavilion, and finally presents the shared aspects in terms of both the material and philosophical histories of both structures over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries.