Mies Memorial Library

by on
Mies Memorial Library

Mies Memorial Library now is over!

Mies Memorial Library: Celebrating the work of the icon of architecture Mies van der Rohe, platform arkitekturo recently has announced its international competition inviting all architecture students to help to create the Mies Memorial Library.

Short description

Celebrating the work of Mies van der Rohe, arkitekturo recently has announced its international competition inviting all architecture students worldwide to participate!

Mies van der Rohe’s professional career was one of continuous exploration, endless ambition, and a tireless search for what modern architecture should be and stand for.

Becoming the director of the Bauhaus would have been the pick of a career for many architects, however, for Mies it was only the beginning. By the time the Nazis forced the Bauhaus to close, he had already designed such iconic buildings as the Barcelona Pavilion or the Tugendhat House, yet some of his best works were still to come.

Mies left Germany and emigrated to the US in 1937, looking for a more favorable environment to pursue his vision, and oh my did he achieve it!

But how could a single person’s ideas have such a deep impact on a discipline as bast as architecture? Way before moving to the US Mies understood his buildings and the ones from a handful of contemporary colleagues who shared his ideals would not be enough to stand up against centuries of tradition. Education was the only way to make his ideas endure. Only by planting that seed in future generations would modern architecture stand a chance of succeeding.

Mies believed his ideas could be translated into an architectural language that could objectively be taught and learned, and that this language could be applied, and give an appropriate solution, to any type of building. And just like the Rosetta Stone will always remain an invaluable key to understanding the evolution of language, Mies’s visual dictionary for a modern architectural language deserves to be studied, cared for and cherished.
What organizer is looking for?

Mies’s drawings, letters and articles are all well preserved. He made sure himself by donating over eighteen thousand pieces of his work to the Museun of Modern Art (MoMA). Other collections of his works also live at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Library of Congress in Washington D.C, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal or inside de Crown Hall itself at the IIT.

All these pieces are safe and sound. However, there’s a difference between preservation and celebration, and they believe Mies’s work deserve to be celebrated.

For the sake of this challenge, they are going to consider that the IIT is planning to make a move to bring many of those pieces back to its campus to establish the new “Mies Memorial Library”. A building not only meant to preserve, but also to celebrate the life, works and contributions of one of the founding fathers of modern architecture. A building that will look into the future without forgetting the past. A building capable of encouraging young architects to be ambitious and remind the established ones to never settle. A building which this brief, if you choose to do so, invites you to envision and design.

The Mies Memorial Library will stand withing Mies’s own masterplan at the IIT campus in south-Chicago. The new building will need to consider the other buildings already on campus, some of which are catalogued and international landmarks, and establish a dialog with its surroundings, in order to be able to stand up for itself while also elevating the status of the campus as a whole.

Mies devoted his life to architecture and education, and with the creation of the Mies Memorial Library, his lessons will continue to live on and inspire the architects who will lead the evolution of architecture for centuries to come.

Submission requirements:

The presentation technique is free. Renders, collages, models, watercolors, sketches… you are free to use the techniques you feel more comfortable with, as long as it can be photographed or scanned and be submitted in a digital format.

English is the official language of the competition and therefore we recommend that any text on your board is English. Projects with text in other languages will not be disqualified, but the jury might not be able to understand it and the media might choose not to publish it.

Evaluation Criteria:

Projects will be evaluated by the jury based on design quality, concept and presentation.

The results will be announced on February 25th 2022.

Who may enter?

Registration is open to any student actively enrolled in an undergrad program. Master students can also be eligible as long as they started their masters no longer than 18 months after finishing their undergrad program.

This brief is especially tailored towards architecture students, however, students from other fields, related to architecture or not, who have an interested in participating are also welcomed.


The 1st place winner will receive 1500 €, the 2nd place winner will receive 1000 € and the 3rd place winner will receive 500 €.

The jury will provide individual feedback for each project, in order for participants to understand what they did well and what they could have done better.

All participants will be invited to participate in an ongoing, open and transparent debate both during the competition and once the winners are announced.

Entry fees:

To guarantee that all students have the same opportunity to participate, entry fees will be adjusted per country, with additional discount options available.

More Competitions: