Architecture: The Ultimate Cube

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the world's greatest living architect, has long been fascinated by the idea of building museums. In 1943, he outlined his concept for "a museum for a small city" in Architectural Forum. "The first problem," he said, "is to establish the museum as a center for the enjoyment, not the interment, of art." To do this, he proposed to erase "the barrier between the work of art and the community" with a garden approach for the display of sculpture, plus a single, glass-curtained gallery built on a steel frame with freestanding interior walls. "The...

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