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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & Le Corbusier

Updated on July 1, 2011

Forefathers of Modern Design

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), commonly referred to as “Mies” are two of the 20th century’s most important and influential architects. Early in their careers, both men worked for Peter Behrens (1868-1940) at the time Germany’s most progressive architect.

Both had a whittled down, modernist approach to design, that incorporated wide expanses of windows and favored flattop roofs still, each had their own distinctive style. Le Corbusier integrated the contrast of curves into his buildings and Mies’s rectilinear skeletons created new opportunities in building design.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Le Corbusier

Farnsworth House

Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe
Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe

Chapelle Ronchamp

Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp by Le Corbusier

The Legacy

Both Le Corbusier and Mies were revolutionary designers who share a place in architectural history as trailblazers that inspired legions of others. Their iconic designs were not only visually stunning but innovative structurally as well. Without Mies’s rectilinear “skin & skeleton” designs, we wouldn’t have the modern skyscraper and Le Corbusier’s playful integration of curves and straight lines surprised and delighted, then as now. Though they have much in common they stand alone as pioneering paragons of their craft and the world is a better and more beautiful place because of them.

Le Corbusier

“Space and light and order. Those are the things that men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.” –Le Corbusier


“I don’t want to be interesting, I want to be good.”  -Maria Ludwig Michael Mies van der Rohe

Article by Anne Alexander Sieder all rights reserved. For hardcore interior design fans, check out my blog


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