Mies van der Rohe meets Toyo Ito in Berlin

Two days ago, curator and architect Carson Chan was kind enough to give me a little tour of the building works for the upcoming Berlin – Tokyo/Tokyo – Berlin, an exhibition that will open on June 7 and run until October 3 in Berlin at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery).

00reree.jpgTokyo – Berlin / Berlin – Tokyo traces the cultural links between the two capitals from the end of the nineteenth century until the present day. A first part of the it has been exhibited at the beginning of this year at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.

Toyo Ito had been invited (or should i say “challenged”) to design the internal architecture of the glass and steel lobby created by Mies van der Rohe in 1968.


The Japanese architect came up with a structure that is in total contrast with the usual order, clarity and simplicity design of van der Rohe’s temple. Ito used the floor of the lobby as a 120 x 120 grid and covered it with a wooden waving floor, creating a striking hilly landscape. When finished the plan is to paint the structure in white and let visitor explore it at their whim. Looking forward to see the end result.

There’s a few images on flickr (the nice ones are by Carson, the crappy ones i mine.)