Mies Contra Corb: whatever happened to the frame?

Gevork Hartoonian (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This paper explores the tectonic implications of the frame in selected works of Le Corbusier and Mies. The intention and main scholarly contribution of the paper is to explore the diachronism informing these two architects’ progression towards what I would like to call “frameless” architecture. If the ethos of frameless architecture can be traced in the French architect’s manifesto, Towards a New Architecture (1925), Mies’s trajectory began with his experimentation with various materials, including glass, concrete, and brick, during his German tenure, and ended in his American tenure with work similar to what Le Corbusier had started doing in 1925. Plotting a diagonal axis connecting the early architecture of Mies to the sculpted tectonics of Le Corbusier’s late work, on the one hand, and the Mies of steel and curtain wall architecture to the Le Corbusier of the Dom-ino frame, on the other, this paper intends to recode the early historiographies of modernism in architecture, which more often than not were based on the conviction that the Zeitgeist informs architecture homogeneously. My anachronistic reading of the historicity of Mies and Le Corbusier unpacks their ideological position against the discursive continuum of Humanism in architecture, in spite of their theoretical inclination towards a frameless architecture.
Period20 Nov 2020
Event titleMies Contra Corb: whatever happened to the frame?
Event typeConference
LocationPerth, Australia