Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-born American architect. He was commonly referred to as Mies, his surname. Along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture.
In the 1930s, Mies was the last director of the Bauhaus, a ground-breaking school of modern art, design and architecture. After Nazism's rise to power, with its strong opposition to modernism, Mies emigrated to the United States. He accepted the position to head the architecture school at the Armour Institute of Technology, in Chicago.
Mies sought to establish his own particular architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. The style he created made a statement with its extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces, as also conducted by other modernist architects in the 1920s and 1930s such as Richard Neutra. Mies strove toward an architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of unobstructed free-flowing open space.