Mies’s Convention Hall: Convergence of Teaching and Architecture

Zaida Garcia-Requejo, Pablo Rodríguez Rodríguez, María del Pilar Salazar Lozano

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20868/cpa.2019.9.4551

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In mid-November 1953, the Chicago Tribune published an article on Mies van der Rohe’s proposal for the city’s new convention center. The following month, Engineering News-Record magazine gave more details on the project, pointing out that Mies had taken Frank Kornacker on board as structural engineer. As his student Peter Carter writes in his book Mies van der Rohe at Work, Mies worked on the project both in his office and with a group of graduate students in his master classes at IIT. Carter quotes lines that appear in the written report of the thesis presented by the three students. Thus, the Convention Hall project was also formalized in a thesis submitted by Yujiro Miwa, Henry Kanazawa, and Pao-Chi Chang in June 1954. However, many biographies and publications dealing with Mies’s work ignores the role played by the students and the structural engineer in its development, and their accounts are sometimes confused. The main objective of this research is to bring to light the work that the students carried out in the classrooms under Mies’s supervision, to analyze the alternatives tested as well as the thesis finally submitted by the students, and to compare it with the original project published by the German, the ultimate purpose being to highlight the relationship between Mies’s teaching activity and his professional practice.

Palabras clave

Mies van der Rohe; Convention Hall; IIT post-doc program; Architectural education; Structure


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