Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building

This post was written with the help of the author: Robert Phelps is a master in Literature at New York University. He is currently working as one of the best writers at the https://nonamelab.com He also studies female psychology.

Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building contains the following features of the European precedents. Firstly, the aspect of functionalism is evident due to its distinctive strictness of forms and aesthetics. Notably, such feature of the building is the result of the contribution of the German union called Bauhaus that had a considerable influence on the development of American architecture. Secondly, non-structural glass walls are the new features of functionalism. The influence of the earlier European precedents such as Bauhaus, the International Style, and Le Corbusier, is evident in the systems of a stick, ladder, utilization, and rainscreen principle. The element of the stick is an example of the Bauhaus school. In fact, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram adopts this feature in the architectural manner of glazing which belongs to a typical jobsite. In addition, the impact of Bauhaus is noticeable in the ladder system which consist of joint lines inside the construction. The International style was a major architectural domain that occurred in the 1920s. Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram has borrowed the glassing that covers the outer side of the building from this style. Furthermore, the elements of functional roof, horizontal windows, and well-designed facades deploy the idea of the architectural promenade. Specifically, a French architect Le Corbusier refined the idea of the glass wall implying the aspects of utilization. As a whole, the structure of Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building represents the functional style. The rainscreen principle the building has is the element of architecture designed by Le Corbusier and it explains the notion of visibility in architecture. The Seagram building has the visible practical utility seen it its external architecture. In general, the structure of the building comprises steel frame, mullions, and glassed windows that are the evident features of the International style.
The social context of the postwar USA is characterized by the aspects of economic prosperity, security, and tranquility. Furthermore, the style of Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building illustrates these features. The period of the 1940-50s is known for evolving consumer culture and a rapid business development. Therefore, the building can represent the social and economic contexts of the postwar America. With the rise of financial success, the idea of being rich became popular among the Americans. Taking into consideration the fact that the Seagram building was a business center, its strict and plain facade and windows represented the aforementioned style of life. In addition, promised security and happiness after the arrival of economic prosperity defined the mode of living in the USA. From this perspective, such architectural elements as structural steel and non-glass walls may symbolize the power of business in the American society. As a matter of fact, thirty-eight story structure of Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building might be the sign of business corporation’s dominance in the state. Basically, the time of the 1950s was the period of political conservatism in the USA. This aspect is reflected in similar steel structures of the facade which are practical for urban life. Moreover, a complete openness of the Seagram building showed that the society was ready to accept challenges in both economic and political domains. Even though this building also incorporated a bombing shelter, it also showed that the American society was ready to eliminate the consequences of war. In general, the social context the building represents are security and economic advancement of the country. All things considered, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building is a masterpiece of the American architecture that outlines the main aspects of wealth, affordability, and success.

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