Ultra Swank - Retro Adventures

Mies van der Rohe – The Seagram Building

Written by Christopher Alm • May 17th, 2007
Mies van der Rohe – The Seagram Building

The plaza at night

I have a passion for amazing architecture and iconic buildings (don’t we all?). First up for a short analysis and field-trip is the Seagram building by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, usually just referred to as Mies van der Rohe.

Born in Germany in 1886, immigrated to America in the 1930s where he started his career in Chicago as head of the architecture school the Armour Institute of Technology. A legend who not only drew buildings but also designed some great looking furniture. His most famous work include the Barcelona chair, the Brno chair, the Seagram building and the Barcelona Pavilion. His Barcelona chair is considered a classic design piece of the early 20th century and if you want to get your hands on one will probably have to pay a small fortune for it today.

My Van der Rohe favorite is the Seagram building located at 375 Park Avenue in New York. Built in 1958 as one of the finest examples of corporate modernism. The building it self has been used as a back drop in numerous movies and commercials. The best example in my opinion is the excellent movie The Best of Everything, a time piece about working girls in New York in the late 1950s.

All exteriors were shot at location. The interiors were sets but very well designed sets which were based on the floor plans of the building. The movie is really good and I recommend anyone who likes lighthearted dramas with a pinch of romance to see it.

Above: Another view of the building

Above: The lobby of the Seagram building

Above: An stylish office space inside the Seagram building

Above: An exterior view of the Seagram building

Above: Interior shot from the Seagram building

Above: The plaza outside the Seagram building

Christopher Alm

Christopher founded Ultra Swank in 2005. Has a crush on mid-century graphic design, defunct airlines, Disneyland and the Century 21 Exposition. Is a collector of easy listening music from the 60s and 70s and a Swedish expat living in Barcelona, Spain.

Find out more about Christopher Alm

  • Anonymous

    I just tried to get my parents to buy an apartment in a Mies building, but no luck with it.

  • Chris

    Oh, would have been very nice though if you succeeded :)

  • Lee

    Great minds think alike

  • Anonymous

    Well, it wasn’t the nicest unit in the building, they had looked at some higher up. They can see the building from the place they did get.

  • Lee

    I definitely need to take more pictures. I discovered some Mies van der Rohe wannabe buildings here in Bakersfield. If you are interested in anything googie, check out my blog (http://TelstarLounge.blogspot.com) and anyone can email me by looking at the “about me” section and I will post some things.

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