Mies 135


In March 2021, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe would have turned 135, and at the same time the Neue Nationalgalerie - his late work - will be reopened with a state ceremony in August 2021 after five years of renovation. The Mies van der Rohe Haus would like to use both events as a hook for a Mies Year. The "Mies 135" projects aim to support the annual planning of the house with an anniversary programme. The focus is to be directed above all to unknown sides of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, thus creating an additional public level of communication. The projects will be realised during the Mies Year from March 2021 to December 2021. The individual projects have different formats ranging from museum educational approaches ("Haus Lemke von Mies leicht erklärt") to the publication of unknown, unbuilt works by Mies ("Mies Map") to the exploration of writing in the work of Mies along the monument culture ("Mies und die Schrift"). Architects, artists, art and architecture historians and Mies researchers will be involved. There will also be cooperations with two universities, to which parts of the grant will be passed on. These include the Vienna University of Technology, Research Department for Spatial Design, Institute for Architecture and Design, Professor Wilfried Kuehn, and the weißensee kunsthochschule berlin, Professor Jörg Petruschat. The aim is to involve a broad professional public in the implementation of the projects and to expand national and international networks.


Research project

Mies van der Rohe's approach to typeface design has been completely unexplored until now. Especially for monuments and gravestones, he developed and used typefaces of his own design - entirely in the Bauhaus tradition. The son of a stonemason integrated them as a design element in the overall design. Not only in his architecture, but also in the use of typefaces, aesthetic principles are contained in Mies van der Rohe's work. Of particular interest is the use of type in capitals as so-called "word pictures". These can be found in the design for the Schinkel Guard (1930) Unter den Linden, the Revolution Monument (memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht) and the unrealised typeface "I was I am I will be" and in the magazine "G" published from 1923-1926. Here the letter G stands for design (in german "Gestaltung"). The aim is to explore for the first time the connection between word, image and writing in the modern art and architecture of the artistic avant-garde, to which Mies van der Rohe belongs, and to communicate this to a broad public. A lecture is planned, which will be held at the Mies van der Rohe House from October to early December 2021. 100 guests are expected to attend the presentation of the research results. The research project is being realised by the German-Japanese Mariko Takagi. She is an artist, designer and researcher specialising in typography and currently teaches at Doshisha Women's College Kyoto.


The Mies van der Rohe Haus would like to participate in the international platform of modernist buildings and bring the Lemke Country House into the worldwide discourse. Membership ensures communication of the Mies van der Rohe House on an international level and leads to participation in international congresses, lecture series and new research discourses. The house is to be communicated in words and images on the platform and join the ranks of the other icons of modernism. Participation in the Iconic Houses Network would strengthen the Berlin location and take it further into the future. From March to June, the network is to be populated with material such as images and texts. The goal is to participate in the planned digital conference, where the Mies van der Rohe House will also be presented.



The aim of this cultural education project is to develop a permanent, clearly structured, well-illustrated and easily and quickly understandable information offer for the Mies van der Rohe House. The focus is on the special aspects of the house, its history and Mies' architecture. The project focuses on the most frequently asked questions regarding the architecture of Haus Lemke, such as "Why doesn't the house have a roof?" This offer appeals to both young and old visitors. At the same time, they can make their own observations about the building based on the easy-to-understand content, which can lead to joint discussions. The project is led by the art and architecture historian Dominik Olbrisch. He has been working as a scientific volunteer at the house for the past two years. The project is being developed in cooperation with the Weißensee School of Art as a semester project with workshops in the Mies van der Rohe House.


The Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) is known to the general public as a temple of modernism and will be reopened this year after being restored to its former glory. The museum is one of the architect's late works (1962-1969). Less well known are Mies' early neoclassical works in Berlin and Potsdam. The Lemke House (1932/33), an example of classical modernism, is the last work Mies realised before emigrating to the United States. The Mies Map also lists Mies' building exhibitions and competitions. In addition, unknown, partially demolished or unrealised projects in Berlin and Brandenburg are also summarised in the Mies Map. This includes the former location of his studio on Potsdamer Platz opposite the Neue Nationalgalerie. The most recent research results on Mies' work are published here in an entertaining form. The addresses listed in the map cover the period from 1909 to 1968 in Berlin and Brandenburg. The Berlin years of Mies come to life in 44 stations. The aim is to make the Mies Map accessible to a broad international audience. The Bauhaus Year 2019 has shown how great the interest in Mies van der Rohe is, so a translation into English is also necessary. It is to be realised as a handy publication with an inserted map and encourage people to make their own explorations of the city. The project is being compiled by the architectural historian and photographer Carsten Krohn. The project does not focus on individual icons of Miesian architecture, but presents all of the architect's buildings as an equally comprehensive collection. The project is to be realised between March and October at the latest. The editorial deadline is scheduled for 1 June 2021. The Mies Map is to be completed for the reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie in August.


On 8 August, a festive event will be held in honour of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's 135th birthday. Here, the individual projects for the anniversary described above will be presented. The programme of the Mies van der Rohe House itself, such as the exhibition and film project "Mies Goes Future" and the first drafts for the children's book "Mies + Scharoun" by Kitty Kahane, will also be presented at this event. Mies experts and art and culture enthusiasts will come together to honour the world-famous architect. The summer festival will take place in the garden of the Mies van der Rohe House under the motto VELVET AND SILK and is expected to attract around 600 visitors.


The project "Mies Year 2021 - 135th Birthday and the Reopening of the Renovated Neue Nationalgalerie" is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.