Dec 15th 2017

Mies and the City Roundtable Video

The "Mies and the City" Roundtable was presented at S. R. Crown Hall  on Friday, November 10, 2017.

In July 1997, Illinois Institute of Technology invited 56 “top architects” to participate in the competition for the new campus center (subsequently McCormic Tribune Campus Center), later selecting five finalists: Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Helmut Jahn with Werner Sobek, Kazuyo Sejima with Ryue Nishizawa, and Rem Koolhaas, who was to become the winner. This competition played a complex and paradoxical role. A building, it had to relate not to any of Mies’s buildings on campus but to the campus plan in general. It had to cure, as it were, the perceived failure of Miesian “tabula rasa” urbanism, providing world’s leading architects with a framework for programmatic statements on ways of overcoming this crisis. At the same time, however, the competition was a part and parcel of the ongoing re-appreciation of Mies, which led to the revitalization of the campus and solidified the significance of Mies’s legacy for contemporary urbanism. Today, when another building—Ed Kaplan Family Institute by IIT’s own John Ronan—is under construction, the twentieth anniversary of MTCC competition invites not only to revisit this historic moment, but also to draw lessons that re-evaluate the material and disciplinary legacy of modernist urbanism.

Round table participants: David Baker, Sarah Dunn, Martin Felsen, Alexander Krikhaar, Donna Robertson, Michelangelo Sabatino, Kim Soss