Lake Shore Drive Apartments: Less is More

Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-1
Did you know Mies van der Rohe design for these towers was initially not accepted because it was considered to be too extreme?
Curiously the mentality shifted over the years and this advanced aesthetics were copied extensively, being considered now characteristic of the modern International Style as well as essential for the development of modern High-tech architecture.
The materials are common: steel, aluminum and glass. Yet what made these building so special was the structural clarity and composition, which followed his principle “less is more” as it is demonstrated in his self-proclaimed “skin and bones” architecture.

Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-2 “the bones” Construction process – Lake Shore Drive apartments

With its 254 ft (82 m) height and 26 floors, the project was completed in 1951. Each building alone is symmetrical with a total of 288 apartments, one tower with three bedroom apt. and the other one with one bedroom apt., over the years many of the units have been combined to enlarge living spaces.

The disposition of the two plans is perpendicular creating and interesting dynamism between them and offering a great variety of breathtaking views, either overlooking Lake Michigan or Downtown Chicago.

Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-3 home_floorplan-custom1-v2Floor Plan
Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-4
​Sketch of the views Mies van der Rohe was imagining for the apts.

Mies architecture didn’t rely on applied ornamentation, but rather on clarity of form achieved through elegant proportions and exacting detail. Prior to his manifesto, structure was commonly hidden within architecture. Here instead, Mies merged the two by exposing the steel, realizing his own believes: “When technology reaches its true fulfillment, it transcends into architecture.”

Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-5Mies perfect detailing lead to prefabrication and quick assembling
Pictures of the Mies van der Rohe Society

At Skyline Architecture we were very happy to have the opportunity to visit these two towers of such historical importance. We were completed amazed by Mies van der Rohe work, from the urban layout, to the innovative aesthetics and perfect detailing. Here are some of our pics!

SONY DSCThe two towers relation

The ground floor
Welcoming canopy

The entrance

Mies van der Rohe furniture – Lobby

Corner Detailing

We thought it was quite impressive to be up there! Definitively worth a visit for its historic importance and architecture greatness. If you would also like to see the breathtaking interiors check this pics from
Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-15
Skyline Architecture- Lake Shore Drive by Mies-16

​​Enjoy your visit and feel free to share your experience with the Skyliners! Safe travels!!


One thought on “Lake Shore Drive Apartments: Less is More

  1. Pingback: 23 Buildings You Shouldn’t Miss in Chicago If You Are An Architect | Virginia Duran

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