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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #1
Jan
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Living in a Mies van der Rohe high-rise

Here is an interesting presentation on a book that researched the current state of the Lafayette Towers in Detroit, a twin tower complex Detroit designed by Mies van der Rohe, that could have easily turned into a slum but didn't. For those interested, here is the book about the project.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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It's a pity (but inevitable) that some of the units didn't go with a mid-century look and feel for their interiors. Spaces by Mies gain a lot when furnishings and details are sensitively done to match the building.

I had a friend who rented in 880 N. Lakeshore Dr. in Chicago back in the 70s. The owner who rented it out did such a sympathetic job with the space that my friend (who was more into 19th century than 20th century) was almost converted.

In any case, here is what I mean by a sympathetic re-working of a 1 bedroom space from the same building. The unit was for sale in October of 2007, for a ridiculous Chicago-esque price of 285 K USD...











Source: http://cribchatter.com/?p=463
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Old January 15th, 2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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^ if you go on the premises of that one to take a picture, they'll send you off. Kindly though, they'll also tell you that if you go and stand on the sidewalk, they don't have jurisdiction. As if they know it's a stupid thing to ask but it's just part of their job.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
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^ if you go on the premises of that one to take a picture, they'll send you off. Kindly though, they'll also tell you that if you go and stand on the sidewalk, they don't have jurisdiction. As if they know it's a stupid thing to ask but it's just part of their job.
There's a convenience store at the ground floor of one of the towers, I think. I wonder if they would let you take a picture if you go into the convenience store and buy something. In any case, at least they were polite (almost apologetic) about it. It should come as no surprise to them that people come to take pictures...
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Old January 15th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #5
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I'm pretty sure I wasn't the first one taking pictures of that one.

By the way this thread also raises the issue of the value of living in a starchitect building. In Rotterdam, Rem Koolhaas has designed a huge complex (called: The Rotterdam) but he didn't design the floor plans. Here that's pretty typical as usually the developer has an in-house department that does that for them (and ensuring mediocrity as far as I am concerned, again catering the average, not the design-minded crowd).

Here is an example of what €640.000 (US$850.000) buys you according to their sales site. Especially for that kind of money, the starchitect involved and the absence of load bearing walls in the apartment, I think floor plans like these are rubbish. The hallway is almost the second largest area in the whole apartment.

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Old January 15th, 2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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That is indeed rubbish. If you ask me, any room shouldn't be smaller than 11m2 in a modern apartment, not to mention that hallway which is just wasted space.

BTW, I'm quite a fan of Mies van der Rohe and it's nice to see that even in Detroit this building managed to stay in good condition. I guess it kind of shows that good architecture can have a major impact on the attitude of the people living in the building.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 07:35 PM   #7
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I lived in one of Mies' dormitory towers at IIT for a year. It was an interesting experience and I enjoyed living there, but IIT has let those towers get into a bit of disrepair and actually had to close down two or three of them for renovations recently.

I lived on the sixth floor in a 23'x13' studio, plus kitchen and bathroom.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpe View Post

In any case, here is what I mean by a sympathetic re-working of a 1 bedroom space from the same building. The unit was for sale in October of 2007, for a ridiculous Chicago-esque price of 285 K USD...


I was in Chicago just last year and stayed a few doors away from there. I visited the convenience store quite a few times during my stay as well as walked past on a regular basis. These towers are a masterpiece and I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity every time I went near them.

In any case are you sure about that price? USD 285K (even in Australian dollars) would buy you very little in my home town of Brisbane. I just assumed that even the cheapest of those apartments would be more than 1 million USD. I'm astounded at how cheap a one bedroom apartment was in that location in Chicago.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quite a few mid-century design aspects are back in fashion,for example, I've seen some new interiors that look similar to the ones above, so I would expect apartments in buildings like this to be worth a lot, especially if they're well maintained and designed by architectural masters like Mies Van Der Rohe.




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Old February 6th, 2014, 12:31 PM   #10
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One problem with living in a Mies van de Rohe building is that as a resident you might experience moments where you have too much glass, which is not so much a privacy issues as it is a climate one. Here is an article in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that might even pose a health thread. I doubt it'll come to that, but glass buildings are indeed a pain in the butt to keep a steady climate in.

When living in one of these I would ask the same interior designer as Roger Sterling had in Mad Men.

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Old February 6th, 2014, 08:02 PM   #11
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I'm sure it's not that much a problem if so many new residentials are glass.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 09:29 PM   #12
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Practicality. What sets this architect to me. The only detail is that look of commercial buildings they are. To live in them, it's required maintaining curtains and dark films.

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Highfield House Condominium (1964) by Thomahawk1, on Flickr
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Old February 10th, 2014, 11:06 PM   #13
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860 - 880 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago after the 2008 renovation. Improvements to heating efficiency. His best residential work, IMO

Click to see the full set on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/faasdan...th/4073517722/

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Foggy Sunday Morning Panorama by faasdant, on Flickr

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880 Lake Shore Drive by faasdant, on Flickr

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860 880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments by faasdant, on Flickr

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Reborn by faasdant, on Flickr

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860 North Lake Shore Drive No. 16L by faasdant, on Flickr

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Lakeside Apartment by faasdant, on Flickr
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Old June 29th, 2016, 06:57 AM   #14
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Beautiful!
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