1907: Riehl House

From The New Yorker:

[T]he Riehl House, built for a philosophy professor and his wife near Potsdam in 1907, looks from the front like a two-story stucco cottage with a pitched roof and window shutters, but from the side it is almost abstract. A huge, plain gable overhangs a loggia, below which the land falls away, and the house appears to sit on a long, flat podium, with a sleekness that is prescient of the architect’s later work.

Although it was built when Mies was only twenty-one, in later life he was not interested in having been a prodigy. He discouraged Philip Johnson from including a photograph of the Riehl House in an exhibition of his work mounted at the Museum of Modern Art in 1947–the first significant introduction of Mies’s architecture to American audiences. By that time, both Mies and Johnson thought that the traditional elements of the Riehl House and his other early houses subverted his image as the consummate rational modernist, and together they began to construct the view of Mies that is more or less what prevails today.


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