Google Designs S.R. Crown Hall Doodle for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Google has designed an extremely simple Doodle in honor of German-born architect and educator Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is linked with the saying “less is more.”


Google’s colored letters appear within the windows of a rendering of one of Mies’ masterworks, the S.R. Crown Hall at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, built between 1950-56.

Born Ludwig Mies on this date in 1886, he later melded his mother’s maiden name (Rohe) with his own. His early career was spent designing office buildings, apartment buildings, houses – even furniture – all in Germany.

He was director of the Bauhaus, an experimental art and design school, before the Nazis forced the school to close in the early 1930s. A year after a historic meeting with Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies emigrated to the United States in 1938 to head the Armour Institute, which later became the Illinois Institute of Technology. 

Mies’ buildings emphasized open space, minimalism, and modern architecture. The Seagram Building in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C., and the National Gallery in Berlin, Germany, are among his most famous creations.

Mies died of esophageal cancer in 1969. Here’s how the Mies van der Rohe Society summed up his designs and legacy:

Mies’ buildings, beyond merely affecting our lives, endow them with greater significance and beauty. His buildings radiate the confidence, rationality, and elegance of their creator and, free of ornamentation and excess, confess the essential elements of our lives. In our time, where there is no limit to excess, Mies’ reductionist approach is as pertinent as ever. As we reduce the distractions and focus on the essential elements of our environment and ourselves, we find they are great, intricate, and beautiful. Less is more.

Google has previously honored other architects with Doodles, most recently Sir George Gilbert Scott last July.

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