Wednesday, January 19

The architects who envisioned modern life in the 1920s (and the chair that became an icon)

  • Pablo López Martín
  • The Conversation*

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Image source, Getty Images


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe presented a very bold chair design at the “Die Wohnung” exhibition in 1927.

The need for housing in Germany after the peace of 1918 suffered a decisive increase for various reasons: re-immigration from distant territories, the return of the army, the increasing number of marriages and, for the first time, also the increasing number of divorces.

To alleviate this, the Weimar Republic carried out plans and measures such as the state rent tax, the house interest tax (1924-31), for which billions of marks were put into circulation in the form of mortgages and subsidies.

To put numbers to the problem, in 1931 Germany had a deficit of between 1 and 1.5 million homes despite the existing housing reserve of 16 to 17 million.

In two large cities – Berlin, with about 4 million inhabitants that year, and Frankfurt am Main, with about 700,000 – new construction, standardized and ready to be mass-produced, was introduced on a larger scale than anywhere else. the world during the 1920s as a way to combat this growing need.

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