MIES VAN DER ROHE’S SCHUBLADE 2022
The idea of our project was an attempt to understand and convey the architectural techniques of Mies van de Rohe, thereby preserving his legacy. Across the road directly to Crown Hall, the Mies-designed landmark and the Memorial Library building itself, we were trying to convey that idea. We conceived the library in the form of a “Schublade”, or, more simply, a drawer of the table, where, as it were, the sketches and works of the great architect are stored.
The idea of our project can be clearly seen in the plans of the building. The spaces inside the “box” flow smoothly with each other, which creates the effect of a single and indivisible zone. Only closed storage, staff rooms and cubicles for solitary work remain isolated. Free layout allows you not to be tied to a place, but to change it at will. Mies Van de Rooy himself wrote: “Many believe that the free plan means absolute liberty. That is a misunderstanding. The free plan asks for just as much discipline and understanding from the architect as a conventional plan.” In the course of work, we fully understood these words. What at first glance seems simple and concise, in fact, requires a lot of work and creative search. Without this structure, the plan would not be free, but chaotic and therefore confined. The building looks like a constructor – mutually perpendicular wall-planes limit the volumes in the center and on the sides.
The “main” wall of the façade is lined with white concrete. This wall can be used to project films about the architect and his projects, thus people who follow the “path” that leads to Crown Hall will learn something new about the architect.
The plane walls inside the building are lined with different colors of onyx. We chose this material not by chance, because in his projects Mies van der Rohe paid close attention to materials, thereby showing the contrast of materials and unity with nature. An unusual perception of space is created due to the many reflective surfaces: onyx walls and glass lanterns on the roof will create a bizarre play of light and reflections.