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Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies


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Surveys Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park in Detroit, Michigan, showing how its residents live with and experience the architecture

About the Author

The authors work together on Placement, a transient and site-specific project about the interaction of people and places.


In their new book, "Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies," which is due out at the end of the month (Metropolis Books, $29.95), the editors Danielle Aubert, Lana Cavar and Natasha Chandani, graphic designers all, offer a portrait of Lafayette Park very different from the classic Mies monograph.
Contents include interviews with residents of Lafayette Park's towers and town houses; archival materials from the complex's history; an account of nine days spent trying to climate-control a corner apartment; and essays on Mies in Detroit, the Lafayette Park landscape, bird-watching and a record of bird-strike deaths (birds and plate glass don't mix).
At-home portraits of residents by Corine Vermeulen show Mies's architecture as a strong frame for personal expression. Some homes look like shrines to 1958, while others reflect the lived-in décor of decades. Jacqueline Neal, an interior designer and 12-year resident of the Pavilion, the smallest of the complex's three towers, spoke last month about living and accessorizing with Mies.--Alexandra Lange "The New York Times, Home Section"

Thanks to a master plan by architect Mies van der Rohe, urban planner Ludwig Hilbersheimer, landscape architect Alfred Caldwell and the spirit of its residents, the neighborhood turned out to be one of the most successful communities in Detroit.
Or, as essayist Marsha Music, who lives in one of the 183 town-houses of Lafayette Park, puts it: The peace here may be a reward, bequeathed through the ages, for having the commitment and audacity to maintain an integrated community in one of the most segregated cities in the United States. God is certainly in these details, as Mies might say.
It's the prime achievement of "Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies" to show those details in all their significance, and to show them in a very clever and never all too earnest way. See glossy photos of bathroom doorknobs and mail slots, learn more about early community newsletters, whistle with the neighborhood bagpiper.
In two words: Be amazed.--Sebastian Hofer "The Detroit News"

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