Top 54 Quotes of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Wherever technology reaches its real fulfillment, it transcends into architecture.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Where can we find greater structural clarity than in the wooden buildings of old? Where else can we find such unity of material, construction and form? here, the wisdom of whole generations is stored.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

When one looks at Nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it takes on a deeper significance than when one stands outside. More of Nature is thus expressed – it becomes part of a greater whole.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

What would life be like if everybody insisted you must have actually built such-and-such a thing by yourself? I’d be an old man and have nothing to show for the aging.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and human beings together in a higher unity.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

We must understand the motives and forces of our time and analyze their structure from three points of view: the material, the functional, and the spiritual. We must make clear in what respects our epoch differs from others and in what respects it is similar.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

We have to know that life cannot be changed by us. It will be changed. But not by us. We can only guide the things that can cause physical change.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

We do not evaluate the result but the starting point of the creative process. Precisely, this shows whether the form was discovered by starting from life, or for its own sake. That is why I consider the creative process so essential. Life for us is the decisive factor.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

True education is concerned not only with practical goals but also with values. Our aims assure us of our material life, our values make possible our spiritual life.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The unformed is not worse than the over-formed. The former is nothing; the latter is mere appearance. Real form presupposes real life.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The problem of architecture has always been the same throughout time. Its authentic quality is reached through its proportions, and the proportions cost nothing. In fact, most of them are proportions among things, not the things themselves. Art is almost always a question of proportions.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The demands of the time for objectivity and functionality must be fulfilled. If that clearly happens, then the buildings of our day will convey the greatness of which the age is capable, and only a fool will maintain that they lack it.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The building art is man’s spatial dialogue with his environment and demonstrates how he asserts himself therein and how he masters it.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The architect must get to know the people who will live in the planned house. From their needs, the rest inevitably follows.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Technology is rooted in the past. It dominates the present and tends into the future. It is a real historical movement – one of the great movements which shape and represent their epoch.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Technology is far more than a method, it is a world in itself. As a method, it is superior in almost every respect. But only where it is left to itself, as in gigantic structures of engineering, there technology reveals its true nature.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Reinforced concrete buildings are by nature skeletal buildings. No noodles nor armoured turrets. A construction of girders that carry the weight, and walls that carry no weight. That is to say, buildings consisting of skin and bones.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Our utilitarian structures will mature into architecture only when, through their fulfillment of function, they become carriers of the will of the age.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Nothing can express the aim and meaning of our work better than the profound words of St. Augustine – ‘Beauty is the splendor of Truth.’

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Less is more.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

It took me a long time to understand the relationship between ideas and between objective facts. But after I clearly understood this relationship, I didn’t fool around with other wild ideas. That is one of the main reasons why I just make my scheme as simple as possible.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

It is not possible to go forward while looking back.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

It is not architectural achievement that makes the structures of earlier times seem to us so full of significance but the circumstance that antique temples, Roman basilicas, and even the cathedrals of the Middle Ages are not the works of single personalities but creations of entire epochs.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

It is much better to have just one idea, and if the idea is clear, then you can fight for it. That is how you can get things done.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Industrialization of the building trade is a question of material. Hence the demand for a new building material is the first prerequisite.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

If there really is no new way to be found, we are not afraid to stick with the old one that we found previously. So, I do not make every building different.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

If one limits to developing only the kitchen and bathroom as standardized rooms because of their installation, and then also decides to arrange the remaining living area with movable walls, I believe that any justified living requirements can be met.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I thought a lot and I controlled my thoughts in my work – and I controlled my work through my thoughts.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I see in industrialization the central problem of building in our time. If we succeed in carrying out this industrialization, the social, economic, technical, and also artistic problems will be readily solved.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I really don’t know the Chicago School. You see, I never walk. I always take taxis back and forth to work. I rarely see the city.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I hope you will understand that architecture has nothing to do with the inventions of forms. It is not a playground for children, young or old. Architecture is the real battleground of the spirit.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I especially remember that on All Souls Day, when so many people wanted new monuments for the graves, our whole family pitched in. I did the lettering on the stones, my brother did the carving, and my sisters put the finishing touches on them, the gold leaf and all that.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I don’t want to be interesting. I want to be good.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I do not think it is an advantage to build planned packaged houses. If you prefabricate a house completely, it becomes an unnecessary restriction.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I discovered by working with actual glass models that the important thing is the play of reflections and not the effect of light and shadow, as in ordinary buildings.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

God is in the details.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Generally, I think my work has so much influence because of its reasonableness.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Form as a goal always ends in formalism. For this striving is directed not towards an inside, but towards an outside. But only a living inside has a living outside.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Every How is carried by a What.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Education must lead us from the irresponsible opinion to true responsible judgment. It must lead us from chance and arbitrariness to rational clarity and intellectual order. Therefore, let us guide our students over the road of discipline from materials, through function, to creative work.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Each material has its specific characteristics which we must understand if we want to use it. This is no less true of steel and concrete.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Cheese was the staple. Bread you brought from home. The Schnaps came later. At the end of the week when people got paid, that’s when you got your Schnaps, lots of it, five Pfennige a shot.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Behrens had a great sense of the great form. that was his main interest; and that I certainly understood and learned from him.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space. Living, Changing, New. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, only today can be given form. Only such architecture is creative.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture is always the will of the age conceived as space – nothing else. Until this simple truth is clearly recognized, the struggle over the foundation of a new architecture confident in its aims and powerful in its impact cannot be realized; until then, it is destined to remain a chaos of uncoordinated forces.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture depends on its time. It is the crystallization of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its form.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture depends on facts, but its real field of activity lies in the realm of the significance.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Architecture begins when you place two bricks carefully together.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

1926 was the most significant year. Looking back, it seems that it was not just a year in the sense of time. It was a year of great realisation or awareness. It seems to me that at certain times of the history of man, the understanding of certain situations ripens.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe