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Seagram Building

New York, New York, 1957





Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson Client: Seagram company Plot Area: unkown Building Footprint: unkown Gross Floor Area: unkown Hight: 157 m Cost US$: Unknown Lifts: 18 Status: complete, 1958



West Elevation

Ground Floor Plan

Concept The design of the building started in 1954, for a plot costing $5 million that was purchased specifically as a new site at 375 Park Avenue, New York. Mies worked out a very simple plan with 8.5 meter grid of steel columns. Though the design was simple but has its own elegance that was revealed in its model. Outer face was covered with glass from floor to cailing; it was to be the first true curtain wall in the history of architecture. As it was first time, Mies along with his team, worked meticulously and developed exquisite details of steel and glass, he once said God is in the dail. The plaza that was created in front of this building created a open space for the first time and added the elegance to the surrouding. The local municipal authorities who had impounded an extra tax now changed their byelaws where set backs became mandatory requirement. It was done to make city more beautiful and to create more of open space. This building was responsible for a major break through in real state and created a boom for glass industry because only after this structure every second building that was built had a tinge of Seagram, worlds most infuential and copied office building, an instant classic. The essence of space is not determined by the mere presence of limitting surface but by the spiritual principle of the limitation. The true task of architecture is to let the structure articualte the space, it is not the building that is the work of art, but space. Mies van der Rohe.

From the top down. 1. building image 2. location, New York 3. west elevation 4. floor plan 5. image model, Mies van der Rohe & Philip

Johnson, 1955 6. Facade detail 7. facade corner 8. image lobby ( inside ) 9. image square ( edge ) 10. image lobby ( outside )

Mies reconcidered: his career, legacy, and disciples, Chicago, Ill. : Art Institute of Chicago; New York, N.Y. : Rizzoli International Publications , (1986) . Mies in America, Montreal : Canadian Centre for Architecture; New York : Whitney Museum of American Art; New York : Abrams , (2001) . cbs/search.cgi?template=display&dbname=cbsarticle s&key2=seagram&action=searchdbdisplay