Compare the evolution of the exterior skin of these modern office/institutional buildings. Compare their massing strategies.
The exterior skins of office and institutional buildings has evolved throughout the years. A few examples can be the Lever house, Citicorp, Ford Foundation, Seagram, Lipstick, and the United nations building. Both the Lever house and Seagram building are iconic and across from each other on Park avenue, these high rise buildings both were also built around the 1950’s. The Lever house is a few years older but there facades are similar. The massing overall aren’t the same but similar, the curtain walls aren’t so different, they just have a different color or tone of transparency. The Lever house has transparent green glass, and a darker green panel which most likely is covering slabs and mechanical systems. Meanwhile the Seagram building has yellow toned glass with black panels covering the slabs, and mechanical systems. Another thing 4I observed was that the Seagram buildings is perfectly symmetrical, all around, meanwhile the Lever house isn’t.
I believe Mies Van de Rohe really wanted to expose or show a sense of structure within the Seagram building facade, therefore he designed non-structural I-beams to go vertically along the curtain wall system. Since the Seagram building was built after the Lever house, its most likely that Mies Van de Rohe observed, analyzed, and took design ideas from the Lever House and implied into the Seagram building. By just comparing these two buildings that are right across from each other, you can see that just a few years make a difference in design, and efficiency, and overall a better product.