This trip through Midtown Manhattan was a better experience than Downtown Manhattan; to me at least. This tour was about the international style. The international style is probably my favorite style of architecture. It’s the most modern. The buildings are simple and elegant; tall and slender. As Mies Van de Rohe says, “Less is more.”
I was excited to see Mies Van de Rohe’s building, the Seagram building. It was beautiful; the simple black box with bronze tracings for the curtain wall. It was said that he wanted the skeleton of his building to be exposed as a façade. I’m proud to say that I actually got to see it for myself and feel it as well. I love how the bronze and black go together. I also loved how the building was standing on pilitis like Le Corbusier’s buildings. The pilitis is one of Corbusier’s five points. The pilitis gave the building a beautiful plaza entrance.
Not only did Mies Van de Rohe’s building showed Corbusier’s five points, but the ones surrounding it did too; with its roof gardens, free plan and pilitis too. Corbusier was a great influence in today’s modern architecture.
Across the street from Mies Van de Rohe’s Seagram building, was the first curtain wall building ever. It, too was held up on pilitis. Seeing the first curtain wall building amazed me to imagine how everyone at the time it was built, felt looking at it; watching a fully glassed building go up. It was a simple elegant building. After that building went up, a whole lot more like it went up as well.
Walking on the tour I saw all types of colors of curtain wall, even down to the color pink. I saw white building with pink glazed curtain wall. Apart from the different colors, they also had different shapes as well. There was this one building with a geometric shaped glass façade. It was an odd shape but still fit well with the rest of the buildings. I believe the shape was due to the FAR conditions.