Being an Architect

Reflections on the profession, design, art, books and life in general



TRAVEL: Seagram Building, New York

Seagram Building (1954-58)

Architect: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Location: 375 Park AvenueNew York City


"Take the beautiful tower made of bronze that was erected in New York. It is a bronze lady, incomparable in beauty, but you know she has corsets for fifteen stories because the wind bracing is not seen. That which makes it an object against the wind which can be beautifully expressed, just like nature expresses the difference between the moss and the reed. The base of the building should be wider than the top, and the columns which are on top dancing like fairies, and the columns below growing like mad, dont have the same dimensions because they are not the same thing. This story if told from realization of form would make a tower more expressive of the forces. Even if it begins in its first attempts in design to be ugly it would be led to beauty by the statement of the form."

Louis Kahn

Original text from "Voice of america - Louis Kahn. Recorded November 19, 1960"


Photographs taken by author on 25th May 2015