van der Rohe and the Creation
of a New Architecture on the IIT campus
III. About Rem
IV. Rem Koolhaas's
IIT McCormick Tribune Campus Center
V. An Interview
Mies van der Rohe
may have been
interred in Chicago's Graceland Cemetery in 1969, but he remains the great
undead of modern architecture. He lives on in his serene temples, such
as Crown Hall and the IBM Building, but also in a thousand cheap knockoffs-
the sterile glass skyscrapers of the past three decades and their own
bastard offspring, cut-rate concrete towers like Grand Plaza and Superior Place.
"The killer of the king is a king," says the prophet Tiresias
in Oedipus Rex. The list of architects who would be king is long. Bertrand Goldberg with Marina City, Robert Venturi with his "decorated shed,"
and Helmut Jahn with his Thompson Center - to name just a few - all wanted to liberate
us from the Miesian box but failed to quash its dominance.
Now comes Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, whose new McCormick Tribune Campus
Center on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, the first building
he's completed in the U.S., will be dedicated on September 30. "I
do not respect Mies," he writes. "I love Mies . . . Because
I do not revere Mies, I'm at odds with his admirers." Koolhaas's
Student Center is both homage and attack, a fond embrace with murderous
intent. Will he succeed where all the others have failed? Will he be the
one to finally put Mies to rest and create, as Mies did, an architecture
that's the true expression of its time?
| Mies | Koolhaas
| Campus Center | Koolhaas
2003-2004 Lynn Becker All