Less is More..Somewhat! – A Photo story by Design Dalda

Less is More, a photostory by Design Dalda

Share Post:

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Less is More - Mies Van Der Rohe

It’s more than a decade back, I was in Barcelona on an invitation to give a couple of talks, one to students at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and another to a group of architects. This gave me some time and euros to hang around in Barcelona. Gaudi was definitely the star, beating all of Barcelona’s other attractions!Less is More - Mies Van Der Rohe Tickets to some of his masterpieces were rather expensive and the waiting line seemed really long. Visiting the Mies Pavilion seemed way cheaper, I remember I trudged to exhibition grounds at the base of a hill and the first experience could be described a bit as, ‘Kuch Nahin hai usme’ (there is nothing in there). During that phase in my life I considered myself to be a bit of a photographer, Mies’s masterpiece was not easy to photograph, the light wasn’t good either. I was determined to find a narrative thread, which the visitors gave me, while visitors watched, experienced, photographed – I watched them, and photographed.

The Mies Pavilion, originally named the German Pavilion was built in 1929 for the International Exposition in Barcelona. Far ahead of its time, it became quite the iconic building of the 20th century, of modernism, of a Germany that was flourishing post World War I. Though called the Mies Pavilion and attributed to Mies it was actually the work of Mies and Lilly Reich (his wife at that time). Mies of the “Less is More” fame (more about that later), was a star in Germany when he was selected for this prestigious project. A contrasting combination of natural material, mainly a range of carefully chosen and cut slabs of marbles, onyx and travertine stones were placed as vertical and horizontal planes in combination and contrast with steel, chrome and glass. Unlike other highly decorative exhibition pavilions, this pavilion had a single sculptural element, that of a woman, Georg Kolbe’s ‘Alba’ meaning “Dawn” reflecting in a small neat rectangular cistern. Actually, the building itself was the sculpture, one can imagine that it must have taken the visitors at the International Exposition, a glorified Mela of sorts by surprise, maybe even shock and bafflement. This ‘pavilion’ was the culmination of sorts of the concepts of the “Free plan” and the “Floating roof”. It was accompanied by furniture specifically designed for the building, including the iconic Barcelona chair.

Though it became quite a hit, as it was built for an exposition the building was demolished in 1930! Only in the 1980s, studying original documents and salvaging original and other material did a group of Catalan architects carefully build back the Mies Pavilion!

Before I finish a little more about, “Less is More”, this was actually picked up by Mies from Peter Behrens of the AEG turbine factory fame, who was his Guru and employer, who used it in the studio to guide his young proteges. Mies went on to popularize it in a way quite different from how Behrens used it originally, more on this perhaps another time.

One Reply to “Less is More..Somewhat! – A Photo story by Design Dalda”

Share your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

Boutique Jewellery Store at Hyderabad by VAL Atelier

Boutique Jewellery Store at Hyderabad by VAL Atelier

When the clients approached us with a requirement of designing a luxury jewellery store spread out on 4 floors and the likes of which the country has not seen, we were elated with excitement! They wanted each floor to look completely different from each other. – VAL Atelier

Read More »
The Brick House, Palakkad, Kerala, India, by Tq+a Architects

The Brick House, Palakkad, Kerala, India, by Tq+a Architects

Required for a family of 4, the house is built in a 3400sqft area in Palakkad, Kerala. It is a simple cantilevered structure, with the material and finish as the main highlight of the building. The vibrant bricks and concrete finish gives the residence a contemporary and modern look which was in line with the client vision. – Tq+a Architects

Read More »
Central Vista

Off The Cuff: Have We Lost Our Vista? – Interim Thoughts On A Work In Progress – Rahoul B. Singh

As a nation we are about to embark on democratic India’s most symbolic project – the re-development of New Delhi’s central vista. The central vista and it’s precinct is approximately three kilometre long and stretches from Rahstrapati Bhawan on the west to India Gate on the east. The redevelopment of this tract of land and other land parcels adjoining it will cost the exchequer upwards of Rs. 20,000 crore and is being undertaken to commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence in 2022. Other objectives of the project include increasing the productivity and efficiency of the government and expanding and improving the quality of public space that falls within its immediate precinct.

Read More »

Michelle Poonawalla at Art.Lab, Dubai, and the Mediations Biennale, Poland

“I​am delighted to be able to show ‘From Dust to Dust’ alongside leading artists in the digital sphere. I like to produce immersive and engaging artworks which create an experience for the viewer so for me World Art Dubai is a great opportunity for as many people of different nationalities and age groups to see my work as possible. It is also great to be back showing work in Dubai after the success of Introspection at Alserkal Avenue last year” Michelle​ Poonawalla

Read More »

Subscribe to Architecture and Design Updates