A human being is rarely creative by him – or herself alone. There are almost always multiple influencers (humans, other designs, and nature), from which creatives draw their inspiration. Every artist also has mentors and teachers who make them question certain things and look deeper into others.
At Veld Architects, Louis Isadore Kahn and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are two of these influencers. Both dominated the architectural scene in the 20th century and although they’ve been deceased for decades, their work and thought processes have become immortal.
This is what they taught us…
Louis Isadore Kahn
“Architects in planning rooms today have forgotten their faith in natural light. Depending on the touch of a finger to a switch, they are satisfied with static light and forget the endlessly changing qualities of natural light, in which a room is a different room every second of the day.”
Louis Isadore Kahn was an Etonian-born American architect who had an incredible understanding of architecture and many lovingly referred to him as the “guru” or as “mystic”. He had a brutalist modern style in his designs, often favouring geometrical shapes found in nature such as crystals and snowflakes.
His designs were bold and bulky, yet light and airy at the same time. He loved to hero the raw nature of the materials he chose to use, never hiding how they were put together. Kahn was also most certainly the master of light. He had a talent to bring natural light into spaces in such a way that the shadows they created became an art of their own.
Our favourite Kahn buildings:
1. Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Bangladesh (1963)
2. Kimbell Museum, Texas (1972)
3. Four Freedoms Park, New York (1973)
Louis Kahn’s appreciation of materials inspires us to look differently at the materials we use. We favour natural and local materials and always try to push the envelope when it comes to their display. In his designs, light is this coming-and-going, ever-changing entity which we simply find mesmerising. Therefore light is always one of the key features we think about
when we design.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
“Nature, too, shall live its own life. We must beware not to disrupt it with the color of our houses and interior fittings.”
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German American architect and teacher of architecture. Many consider him to be the pioneer of Modernist Architecture. He believed that philosophy came first, and design followed. The aesthetics of a building, to him, was merely an expression of the era it was built in, and the materials used.
His designs honoured clarity, simplicity, minimalism and free-flowing spaces and he predominantly used industrial steel and plate glass. This is perhaps why he referred to the buildings he designed as “skin and bone” architecture.
Our favourite Mies van der Rohe buildings:
1. Barcelona Pavilion & Barcelona Chair, Barcelona (1929)
2. Crown Hall, Illinois (1956)
3. Seagram Building, New York (1958)
Ludwig Mies taught us to be sensitive to the landscape when we design and to design for the client’s individual needs. At Veld Architects, we get to know our clients first. This way we can accurately identify what it is that would make them happy (and healthy). Every project has a silent client too: Nature. We therefore aim to build as sustainably as possible ensuring
that our designs blend into the natural environment beautifully.
We are so appreciative of these two legendary architects and will cherish their teachings forever.
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