Mies van der Rohe's Inspiring I-beams

Seagram Building - 375 Park Avenue

Mies van der Rohe’s Inspiring I-Beams

The Seagram Building, by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, set the architectural style for skyscrapers in mid-twentieth century New York City.

Like virtually all large buildings of the time, it was built on a steel frame, on which non-structural glass walls were hung.

Mies preferred that the steel frame be visible, though American building codes required all structural steel be covered in a fireproof material, usually concrete.

I-beams on Seagram Building

With concrete hiding the inner structure of the building — something Mies van der Rohe wanted to avoid — he used non-structural bronze-toned I-beams to suggest structure instead. These are visible from the outside and run vertically,  separating the large glass windows.

upholstery fabric inspired by i-beams

At completion, over 1,500 tons of bronze was used in the construction of the Seagram Building.

Once a year, these bronze I-beams are oiled to retail their perfectly handsome dark “root beer” color appearance.

Read more about BLDG and request samples here.