IIT campus by Mies van der Rohe and Remment Koolhass
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This paper focuses on a comparison of one of Mies buildings with Remment Koolhass’ building. These architects had a great influence on the perception of modern architecture. Mies van der Rohe, even after his death remains one of the best architects of the world. He changed people’s view of modern skyscrapers. The highlight of van der Rohes work is simple geometric towers that one can now observe in modern cities. All his buildings are made very carefully, precisely, and with a large proportion.
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Remment Koolhass believes that urban development in the modern world is absolutely the opposite of rationalism and modernism. For example, in New York, the architecture is the part of business, while in Europe, it is part of art. The hallmark of Remment became his unexpected solutions to building structures. His projects stand out among all the others. Projects made by Remment are visible to the naked eye. In order to relate and compare the projects by Mies van der Rohe and Remment Koolhass, one should consider buildings on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology – Crown Hall by Mies van der Rohe and McCormick Tribune Campus Center by Remment Koolhass. In this paper, one will consider and analyze the layout, interior, exterior and landscape design of each of the buildings.
Crown Hall by Mies van der Rohe
Crown Hall is one of the most famous buildings created by Mies van de Rohe. Crown Hall is the central part of the plan for campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Mies van der Rohe developed his own modern architectural tactics that included patterns, proportions, and geometry. Crown Hall was one of the most important architectural buildings of the 20th century. It is the most famous building with the technology of construction with steel and glass (Blaser 44).
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The building of Crown Hall is located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. It is a large room structured with low wall partitions, where hundreds of students can do their work in the remaking of their space simultaneously. Crown Hall can be used for different purposes – exhibitions, conferences, interviews, and negotiations since it is possible to change the function of the room. Crown Hall is divided into two floors – the first floor in the shape of a large single space and the main that floor takes up most of the room. Mies van de Rohe identifies it as a universal space, as it is completely subject to changes in its use. The plants located near the building regulate penetration of sunlight through a glass window. In addition to this, visitors can enjoy nice landscaping. The building is designed for multifunctional use and not only as an architectural element. Glass walls give the feeling of being outdoors with views of the plants growing outside. Exhibition hall, library, and living room are in the main room, i.e. the room with low wall partitions. On the basement level are offices, workshops, and dressing rooms with toilets (Blaser 45-46).
Important for Mies van de Rohe was that fact that the building retained its contemporary look, even if functionality changed. That is why the building has an open floor plan. In finding the precise structure of the building, on the one hand, and creating wide-open spaces, on the other hand, the architect created Crown Hall. The idea was to create a building with lots of space and, at the same time, to make it compact. It allowed the study for all students from freshmen to graduates. Crown Hall was designed by Mies van de Rohe as the physical form that merged with the spiritual content. Crown Halls design is spacious and uncluttered (Blaser 55).
Crown Hall was built in strict sequence, so the building could stand on for a few decades. It is built on an elevated platform with the height of 1.80 meter. It is done in order to create a clear surface for construction and to emphasize the idea of designing columns that will be visible from the outside. The vertical and horizontal structures of the building serve as a symbol of renewal. It can be seen everywhere and it helps visually develop the actual building. Van de Rohes tactics assumed that the function of the building could be changed periodically, but the design had to remain. The roof of Crown Hall is the size of 36/66 meters. The roof is sustained by four beams that serve as its base. It creates a lot of open space and contributes to the creation of functional departments for students and their activities. The building Crown Hall is built of glass and steel with internal supports. The glazing of the building is locked in place, so the building can be equipped with air-conditioning system. This strategy is designed to work both in normal and adverse environmental conditions. From all sides of the building, there is penetration of light into the room. The room also has artificial lighting, which operates mainly later in the day (Blaser 56-57).
Crown Hall is located on the South side of the campus territory. To enter the building, one needs to go up on the terrace to the South porch. The terrace is paved in white marble, the stairs from the terrace lead up to the door and onto the lawn. The building is supported by steel columns in four equal points. The terrace has thin metal handrails that are painted in black. Additional inputs are also located on the North side, one slightly closer to the East, the other to the West from the base of the top platform. These doors allow to access to the lower floor. These inputs are closed with steel doors and used in rare cases (Thompson).
The main hall is one great space. The main hall is formed from North to South and has symmetrical wings on the East and on the West. The main hall is open without particular separation space. The space in the main hall is divided with oak walls, which helps to divide the space without changing general view of the hall (Thompson).
The ceiling looks like a separate plane not related to the external walls. The ceiling is approximately one square foot finished with ceiling acoustic tiles. The entire perimeter is equipped with daylight lamps. Windows are located on upper level of blinds. The transfer of bathrooms on the lower floor is made to maintain the cleanliness of the air in the room. On the lower level stairs, there is the entrance on the North side (Thompson).
A very important parameter of the building is originally planned building and landscape. Mies van de Rohe worked on this together with Alfred Caldwell. The most significant landscape design survived. There are white acacia trees on the East side of the building and acacia honey on the Southern and Western sides of the building. In addition to this, Boston ivy twined around the steel structure of the building is an important part of landscape design (Thompson).
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Therefore, Crown Hall on the campus of the Illinois Institute of technology, which was built in 1956 and renovated in 2005, is one of the most famous College buildings in the United States.
McCormick Tribune Campus Center by Remment Koolhass
McCormick Tribune Campus Center by Remment Koolhass is located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Tribune Campus Center occupies 10,690 square meters and it is formed with glass and metal. Other than that, 161 meters of the roof of the building are occupied by the pipe for the passage of trains. Center offers great functionality for students. Also in the building, there is a portrait of Mies van de Rohe, which is 20 feet in height (McCormick Tribune Campus Centre).
The internal layout of the building matches the existing students trodden roads that were formed under the railroad tracks. In addition, there are diagonal paths with aluminum tiles. The walls are made of transparent and translucent glass. On the long glass walls, there are portraits of the founders of the Illinois Institute of technology (McCormick Tribune Campus Centre).
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Remment Koolhass received the award for Tribune Campus Center. It is made of orange and blue glass with black and burgundy streaked and canted roof. The railway line on the roof of the building is divided into a residential area and educational area. This one-story building is built under an existing railway structure in which the passage passes through wrapped stainless steel pipe in 530 feet. The building visually resembles the shape of corn (Keegan 168).
The building includes a theatre, cafe, shops, conference halls, and radio hall. There is a sports bar on the lower level of the building. It is illuminated through the thread and the space around the foundation. This facility is part of the complex. Wide and long corridors allow students to carry out their activities. For relaxation and energy, there are billiard tables. They are located directly under the arc of stainless steel. The architect of this building used the most unusual materials and textures for its construction. The ceiling is made in the form of free smears of putty that covers all joints. It was designed for a generation that will go on a graphic video of a computer game (Keegan 168).
The campus is a one-store building. It occupies five acres to the East side. Koolhass tracked the movement of students across campus and linked this information with the layout of the campus. The roof of the campus has the shape similar to that one of the pipe through which trains pass. The pipe is reinforced and made of stainless steel. The building and the roof are built with concrete foundations that are 16 inches thick. All poles and ropes that support the pipe are located inside the building. The outer surface of the building is 15,000 square feet. The interior of the building consists of 08.000 square feet of glass (Tierney 77- 78).
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The ceiling of the room is sheathed in non-lattice material in order to hide the ventilation system. The entrance of the building is built using orange cylinders, on which the name of the building is written. To create the interior of the campus, Koolhass used a variety of bright colors. For the back wall, he used a bright orange color. On the overall, Koolhass used blue-orange palette. Sometimes, there is an unpainted green drywall is the material used for ceilings. The floor is covered with polished epoxy dark burgundy color. More than half the area is covered with tiles (Tierney 79). The North West entrance leads into the center of the room. The dining hall is in the center of the building. Shop and communications center are located in the North Western corner of the building. Conference halls and radio hall are located in the southwest part of the building. There is also a hall for non-smokers. The cafe is located between the bookstore and the store. Students meeting rooms and administrative offices are located in the East side of the building. The building is designed to have private open space. Inside and outside the building on the West side make of a trapezoidal space. The interior of a trapezoid is an external element located inside the lawn. The recreation area connects the North side of the trapezoid with computer area in the South (Tierney 82-83).
The most noticeable aspect of the design of the building has a green line train that runs from North to South on the East side of the building and above the student center. The train goes on about every 5 minutes, which creates excessive noise and vibration. Koolhass solved this problem in this way: he concreted plug on this perimeter, which were located directly above the building. The pipe for the passage of trains has the size of 60 /530 feet raised above the ground at the height of 50 feet. The upper half of the pipe is placed in the shell of stainless steel; the lower half is in the shell of corrugated stainless steel.
The lower half of the pipe is laid in the center of the roof and it creates a small part of the ceiling in the room. The color palette that was used in the design of the building was moved to the pipe (Tierney 84-86). McCormick Tribune Campus Center by Remment Koolhass is an unusual building among all Colleges buildings. An ingenious solution to combine a university town and railway attracts attention.
Mies van de Rohe sought to express not only the structure of the room but also the space. His architectural strategy was to give each room a versatile space. Structure and space are the interacting parts of his tactics. The building structure should not limit its space. Hence, the construction of Crown Hall utilized steel and glass that visually expand a building, and the absence of partitions does not infringe the universal space of the room.
Remment Koolhass used the tactics of combining spaces and premises. By connecting one railway track and the campus, he reached such results as the combination of the two objects in the same area, unusual and attention-grabbing design of the building. Tribune Campus Centre is a multifunctional center for students. It combines entertainment, education, work, and other kinds of activities for students.
Analyzing projects by van de Rohe and Remment, one should note that both of these architects had their own strategy and tactics in planning and construction of buildings. Van de Rohe tactic is direction to the extended space. In turn, Remment plans the building to connect multiple objects in one area. Both architects approach the extraordinary designs, and their external structures are not trivial.
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