Modern Design /03 October 2004


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Tugendhat armchairs for the Seagram Building, New York
Germany, 1928/1954
stainless steel, leather
28 w × 26 d × 36 h in (71 × 66 × 91 cm)

The Tugendhat chair was originally designed in 1928 for the Fritz and Grete Tugendhat residence in Brno, Czech Republic. The chairs offered here were made for the Seagram Building in New York City, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson in 1954. The building was erected as the headquarters of Joseph E. Seagram and Sons whose president, Samuel Bronfman, felt that as a large company they had a civic responsibility to promote new architectural projects in New York. It was Mies' first major office building commission and was radical in its day for its inclusion of open space in the design. The building is set back 90 feet from Park Avenue, creating an expansive plaza in the middle of the city. This quality was so remarkable that in 1961 New York City changed its zoning regulations to encourage similar designs. The building has more than 80,000 square feet of office space with an exterior notable for its tinted glass and bronze I-beams.

provenance: Seagram Corporation, New York | Private collection

estimate: $10,000–15,000
result: $19,200

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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1886–1969

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is one of the most celebrated modernist architects of the twentieth century, known for developing the International Style in Germany and abroad, which emphasized function, balance, clean lines and the use of glass and steel.

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