Mies Memorial Library - konkurs studencki
Mies’s drawings, letters and articles are all well preserved. He made sure himself by donating over eighteen thousand pieces of his work to the Museun of Modern Art (MoMA). Other collections of his works also live at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Library of Congress in Washington D.C, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal or inside de Crown Hall itself at the IIT.
All these pieces are safe and sound. However, there’s a difference between preservation and celebration, and we believe Mies’s work deserve to be celebrated.
For the sake of this challenge, we are going to consider that the IIT is planning to make a move to bring many of those pieces back to its campus to establish the new “Mies Memorial Library”. A building not only meant to preserve, but also to celebrate the life, works and contributions of one of the founding fathers of modern architecture. A building that will look into the future without forgetting the past. A building capable of encouraging young architects to be ambitious and remind the established ones to never settle. A building which this brief, if you choose to do so, invites you to envision and design.
The Mies Memorial Library will stand withing Mies’s own masterplan at the IIT campus in south-Chicago. The new building will need to consider the other buildings already on campus, some of which are catalogued and international landmarks, and establish a dialog with its surroundings, in order to be able to stand up for itself while also elevating the status of the campus as a whole.
Inside the building people will be immersed in the universe of Mies, and will be able to work and study surrounded by pieces of his furniture and other works on display. The library will have a “Open Collection” freely accessible to anyone without supervision. Members of the library will also be able to borrow these books just like in any other library.
The “Complete Mies Collection” on the other hand, containing more unique and valuable pieces, will only be available for research purposes under supervision.
The new library’s aim is not to become an isolated fortress or museum, but a necessary complement to the needs of the Architecture School and the IIT campus. It will help ease the burden on the Graham Resource Center, located inside the Crown Hall and which has already been expanded twice. This will free up space inside the Crown Hall to accommodate more offices, classes and workshops. The new library will also be a complement to the Paul V. Galvin Library, which is IIT’s main library.
Mies devoted his life to architecture and education, and with the creation of the Mies Memorial Library, his lessons will continue to live on and inspire the architects who will lead the evolution of architecture for centuries to come.