Raoul Brand

music & sound design

Visions of Space

Visions of Space

posted 24/08/2003
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BBC documentary, 2003 – Oxford Film & Televison. Music composed by Raoul Brand & Graham Waugh (o2music). Director Philip Smith

Mies van der Rohe: Less is More
This episode features the German architect, Mies van der Rohe, who moved to America and discovered the face of the modern corporate city. In this highly personal account, art critic Robert Hughes follows in Mies’ footsteps looking at how an architect who began his career making kitschy, Hansel and Gretel style houses with pointy roofs, little windows and squat floorplans transformed himself into the master of international modernism – the architect of light and space.

Mies is the father of the contemporary vogue for loft living – what he was building in the 1920s still looks futuristic now. Similarly, his New York masterpiece the Seagrams Building provided the blueprint for the modern office building – without Mies no major city on Earth would look as it does.

But despite his undeniable impact there is something in Mies’ work that Hughes finds shockingly neglectful of real human needs. This master builder could spend days working out how to turn a corner with a skilfully placed beam and totally ignore the legitimate wishes and desires of those who used his buildings.