Seagram Building: Victory of Modernism

Mies van der Rohe designed The Seagram Building, one of the pioneers of modern architecture, and Pritzker prize-winning architect Phillip Johnson. The building is in one of the bustling spots of New York City. The construction of the Seagram Building, which is still essential in architectural history, took four years. The building that was completed between 1954-1958 is one of the most expensive establishments.

Rohe’s Touch on Skyscrapers

The Seagram Building is the first skyscraper designed by Rohe. The Seagram Building has the same place in Rohe’s career, who likes to play with materials and finds the simplicity he seeks in design in modern construction technologies. This structure has given it the chance to leave a permanent mark on the silhouette of one of the most famous metropolises in the world.

Although Rohe did not work alone in the Seagram Building, it is easy to see his influence on its facade design. Rohe covered the facade of the building with bronze and black glass. That is not surprising for Rohe, who likes to work with steel construction and is known for its glass facades. However, it was necessary to push the boundaries in the glass facade of the Seagram Building. The windows are extended from floor to ceiling to let in more sunlight. Gray topaz glass is used in the Seagram Building to support this design.

The interior design of the building mostly belongs to Phillip Johnson. We can see a flexible office plan in the 38-story Seagram Building. According to this plan, it is possible to create different usage scenarios according to the floors’ needs. Although it is a widespread approach today, this flexible plan type seen in the Seagram Building is quite innovative for its period.

We can see some marble and travertine in the material palette of the interior of the Seagram Building. These partially expensive materials have given the structure its character.

Public Space

The Seagram Building is in one of the busiest spots of a crowded city like New York. For this reason, Rohe pulled the building back from the street level. Thus, he created a space suitable for a public space in front of the Seagram Building.

Seagram Building welcomes its visitors with two monumental fountains in front of it. Here, the careful selection of materials and the design’s refinement indicate how hard the Rohe and Johnson duo worked for the Seagram Building.

Today, Seagram Building is one of the most important modern buildings in America and its history. The Seagram Building has managed to stay in touch with real-life while accommodating many corporate companies’ offices. It owes this mostly to the public space created before it.

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