Illinois Institute of Technology (originally Armour Institute)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Because Mies had the opportunity to plan the entire campus layout, it has a clear unity and geometrical organization. Buildings are arranged about a central axis and are based on a 24' x 24' x 24' module. A reincarnation of Bauhaus principles, the design is efficient and functional--and anonymous.

Crown Hall (the Architecture Building), 1952-56

Crown Hall is a one-story glass box (120' x 220' x 18') with four large steel girders from which the roof is hung; thus no interior supports are necessary. The building is slightly raised on a platform with a grand flight of stairs at the entrance.


The Interior

Because no interior supports are necessary, one large and flexible "universal space" was possible. Temporary walls or partitions can be changed as needed. More private spaces (like faculty offices) are in the basement level.


The back of Crown Hall and a Service Building

The front and back of Crown Hall are identical. The Service Building is more impressive than the Chapel (see below).

Two views of the front and the back of the Chapel of Saint Savior, 1952

Sometimes referred to as an "elegant factory," the Chapel, in brick with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall, has no allusions to historical styles and little sense of being a "church."

Other buildings on this site by Mies include: Barcelona Pavilion, Dirksen Building, Mellon Hall of Science (Duquesne University), One Illinois Center, School of Social Service Administration Building (University of Chicago), and the Seagram Building.

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