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Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present by Andrew Ballantyne

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Seagram Building

image

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1886–1969

New York City, New York, USA; 1954–58

Mies van der Rohe’s minimalism was often invested with a sense of luxury that does not always come across in photographs. When everything has been refined to the simplest of forms, the things that matter most about a building are its materials and its size. Neither of these aspects is reliably conveyed by the camera. A painted vista looks as spacious as an open view; a panel of plasterboard and a sheer stone wall can look equally solid – but if our foot falls close to them, we have a sense of the difference, whether from the acoustic or the way we feel ...

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