Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his students collection
  • Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (architect)

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his students collection



Level of archival description:
Collection institutionnelle
Extent and medium:
  • 1051 drawings
    231 photographic material
    0.01 l.m. of textual records
    2 portfolios
Scope and content:
The collection documents the professional practice of Mies van der Rohe as an architect, designer, and teacher between 1918 and 1988 in Europe, mainly in Germany, and in the United States. This collection is a compilation of materials documenting Mies' work and his students' work held at Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA).
The collection includes documents related to 28 architectural projects, interior design, furniture design, including some of the designs for the Illinois Institute of Techology campus pavilions in Chicago, the Seagram Building in New York, and five exhibition designs undertaken by Mies. The collection also includes the architectural projects of some of his students during their studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology (previously the Armour Institute of Technology), predominantly the work of George Danforth, between 1938 and 1943.
The collection is composed of drawings, predominantly conceptual sketches and drawings by Mies, or drawings by his student George Danforth, and also photographs of Mies's work by various photographers, predominantly views of buildings or installations.
Reference number:


This collection is a compilation of materials documenting Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's work and his students' work held at Canadian Centre for Architecture's (CCA) and was arranged by CCA staff and researchers. Items selected for this collection not only document Mies' architectural projects but also his career as a teacher. Materials were divided into four groups: architectural projects by Mies; architectural projects by his students; exhibitions by Mies; or photographs of Mies teaching.
Biographical notes:
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born in Aachen, Germany, in 1886. He studied architecture with architect Peter Behrens, who also taught Le Corbusier. He lived in Berlin from 1913 to 1938, where he undertook his first architectural projects including a building for the exhibition Weissenhofsiedlung [Weissenhof Housing Colony] in Stuttgart, Germany (1927) and the Haus Lange [Lange House] in Krefeld, Germany (1927-1929).
In 1929, Mies was commissioned to design the German pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition. This project established the esthetic Mies became known for. The pavilion, initially commissionned to be a temporary installation was reconstructed in the early 1980s as an hommage to his work.
Mies became president of the Bauhaus in 1930 until it closed after Hitler gained power in 1933. The German pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition was Mies' last project in Europe. In 1938, he installed his pratice in the United States and later became an American citizen. He was appointed professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology and undertook the construction of the campus buildings. He also created designs for well known apartment buildings, including the Lake Shore Drive in Chicago (1949-1951). In 1949, Mies was commissionned to create the design for the Seagram Building in New York. Mies was also a furniture designer, and designed the furniture for the Barcelona International Exhibition and the Seagram Building. He died in 1969 in Chicago, United States.
Conditions governing access:
  • Open for use by qualified researchers. Access by appointment only.
Conditions governing reproduction:
  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the collection, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).
Custodial history:
  • The material related to the Mies van der Rohe collection was acquired in various accessions from various dealers or donors by the Canadian Centre for Architecture predominantly between 1978 and 1994.
Credit line:
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
Language of material:
  • English
Related units of description:
  • Other materials related to Mies van der Rohe, his projects, and his circle can also be found in several archives acquired by the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA). Archives containing related materials include: John C. Parkin fonds (AP018); Myron Goldsmith fonds (AP032); David Haid fonds (AP034); Peter Carter fonds (AP047); Gene Summers fonds (AP114); and the Reginald Malcolmson fonds (AP150). Researchers interested in Mies can also consult material in the CCA Collection by his students, including Georges Danforth, and Joseph Fujikawa. Research files on Mies assembled in preparation for the exhibition and the publication of "Mies in America" (2001) are also available for consultation. The transcriptions of a series of interviews by Kevin Harrigton commissioned by the Canadien Centre for Architecture in 1996 and 1997 are also available in the CCA Library collection. The series includes interviews with Myron Goldsmith, Joseph Fujikawa, Phyllis Lambert, Gene Summer, Peter Carter, George Edson Danforth, and Edward Austin Duckett. The transcriptions are available in PDF format online.

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