Mies on Marina City: Don’t do that again

In the video, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Michael Darling talks briefly about the “organic” and “sculptural” quality of Bertrand Goldberg’s architecture and some of the architects who influenced his work.

In his oral history at the Art Institute Bertrand Goldberg reports Mies van der Rohe’s dismissive summary of Marina City: “Well, everybody has to do such a thing once.”

Goldberg doesn’t record what must have been his dismay at Mies’ remark, since he felt his work grew out of a thorough immersion in Mies’ “vocabulary” as opposed to what many consider Mies’ “style.”

It isn’t a stretch to rephrase Mies’ comment on Marina City as an admonition: “Don’t do that again.” But Goldberg did it again – and again, and again, as you’ll see in some of the visuals in the video.

If you have any interest at all in Chicago architecture and urban planning, read Goldberg’s cerebral, passionate and candid reflections in his oral history. It’s one of the few “must reads” in the Art Institute’s Oral History Project.

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