Project 365 – Day 87: Westmount Square by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

March 27 2012

I should first thank Google for today’s doodle honoring  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - otherwise the date would likely have slipped by me  -  I’m not that good remembering birthday’s, just ask my family.

Since today marked the 126th birthday of one of the pioneers of modern architecture Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, I thought I would mark the occasion by photographing 1 of his buildings here in Montreal. In actual fact I ended up photographing 4 buildings since Westmount Square comprises 4 towers, 2 of which are residential and 2 commercial.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1986-1969) was born in Aachen, Germany but emigrated to the USA in 1937. By emphasizing open space and revealing the industrial materials used in construction, he helped define modern architecture. He settled in Chicago and became the head of the architecture school at Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology (now the ITT Illinois Institute of Technology).

Westmount Square opened on December 13, 1967.

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Westmount Square designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I was planning to take some pics inside one of the towers but was approached by security while shooting outside that photography was prohibited without authorization. Since I had already taken most the shots I wanted, I thought it best to call it a day.

Mies also designed 3 residential towers and the famous gas station on Nuns Island which was one of the last buildings he designed before his death at the age of 85.

The gas station closed in 2008 and in 2009 was saved when the city declared it as an historic monument and in 2009 the the borough of Verdun announced it would be restored and made into na intergenerational community centre. La Station, opened its doors to the public once again in February 2012.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make it over to Nun’s Island today, but will check it out when I have the chance.

For more information on Mies’s life and projects, check out the Mies van der Rohe Society website.

Throughout the day students have been holding demonstrations in a number of cities across Québec, including of course Montreal. On my way back from Westmount Square I came across a small group of students who had blocked Sherbrooke street outside the Lotto Quebec offices.

Student protest on Sherbrooke street

Student protest on Sherbrooke street

Police close Sherbrooke street

Police close Sherbrooke street

Student Protesters having a lie in

Student Protesters having a lie in on Sherbrooke street

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

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Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

- Martin

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