How would Mies design his own Memorial Library at the IIT campus in today‘s world? Mies, as a pioneer of modernism, the avant-garde. What does modern mean in today‘s context and how progressive yet traditional would Mies connect to his work today.
From this point of view, Mies would clearly build in a particularly sustainable way. If you build modern, you build sustainable. Because that becomes the credo for the new era of architecture. „Less is more and the planet is all.“ That‘s why the library is an all-wood building in its visible supporting structure. In addition, there is no resource-consuming basement, making the building barrier-free and virtually threshold-free. It fits seamlessly into the existing rows of trees in the park and replaces the sealed surface with a green roof. The filigree glass façade conveys the impression of the library in the park.
Spatially, structurally, and conceptually, the building seamlessly connects to the master‘s last works. We see an open floor plan in a building that will outlive its current function, creating timeless space. The exterior structure is minimal, supporting the roof on only 8 columns. Special functions are accommodated on two floors in built-in rooms. Working, reading and socializing fill the space under the wooden roof with life.
The library also blends sensitively into its surroundings. The building completes Mies‘ master plan and provides an equal counterpart to Crown hall.With the materiality of the space-forming solid masonry wall and the columns that do not reach the ground, the other buildings on campus are cited. The buildings communicate with each other and people can freely walk through them.
„I don‘t want to be interesting, I want to be good and sustainable.“
Mies van der Rohe, 135