October 21, 2014

lakeshore™, glass-steel / chicago / mies van der rohe

Mies van der Rohe Lakeshore Drive Apartment (Image Credit Chicago Historical Society).
 Mies van der Rohe
Lakeshore Drive Apartment Building
Icon of Mid Century Modern Architecture
1955


Mies van der Rohe Architecture Detail

Cloud reflecting on glass facade of Lake Shore Drive apartment building designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. Photographed by Frank Scherschel for LIFE in 1957.


Room reflecting in glass wall of apartment in Lake Shore Drive building designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. Outside view of companion building and traffic also visible. Photographed by Frank Scherschel for LIFE in 1957.


Illuminated rooms at night of apartment in Lake Shore Drive building designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. Photographed by Frank Scherschel for LIFE in 1957. 


Lake Shore Drive building designed by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe.
Photographed by Frank Scherschel for LIFE in 1957.  


Mies van der Rohe
Lakeshore Drive Apartment Building Complex



The Lakeshore Drive Apartment Complex, AKA Esplanade Apartments, located at 900 and 910 N Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, are the work of one the most influential architects in history, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Initially completed in 1955 as rental apartments, the buildings were converted to condominium ownership in 1979. The structure and integrity of the buildings remain the same today. The scheme consists of two identical 26-story towers placed 46 feet apart with their long axes set perpendicular to each other. The steel skeletal frame is based on a 21-foot grid and is clearly expressed in the elevations, indicated by black-painted steel sheets covering the fireproofed columns and beams. The rigorous consistency of the design is seen in the uniform treatment of each building face regardless of orientation. Each bay is subdivided into four window units by three wide-flange steel mullions. A supplementary mullion is welded to the face of the exterior by the others. Within these divisions aluminum-framed floor-to- ceiling windows are set. The significance of this work is a pioneer curtain-wall expression as well as a fulfillment of the all-glass skyscraper schemes proposed by Mies three decades earlier." — A. James Speyer. Mies van der Rohe. p26.