Candide —
Journal for Architectural Knowledge

Candide No. 8 — 09/2014 — Essay

Christoph Asendorf
Continually Renewed Contemporaneity: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe through the Lens of Different Ages

The work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, more so than that of most architects, has been subject to a process of continuous reinterpretation. During his lifetime, this could have been explained by the fact that the work itself changed profoundly, responding to the extreme transforma­tions of western civilization that occurred between the period before World War I and the end of high modernity. But even today, Mies’s oeuvre possesses qualities that keep it compatible and relevant. In this essay, Christoph Asendorf reflects on the notion of contemporaneity from the perspective of cultural studies. He pays particular attention to the way in which Mies walks a fine line between seem­ingly contradicting options: between order and freedom, modernity and tra­dition, and, in more architectural terms, between delimitation and permeability, solidity and fluidity.

Candide No. 8, 09/2014