Mies van der Rohe has designed gas stations in Montreal, Canada in his last years.

It is Esso gas station in Nan Island.

This gas station can be watched on DVD “Mies van der Rohe” (directed by Joseph Hiller).

The black roof which stretched to low crawl on the ground is beautiful. If such a gas station was near to us, I will not be able to wait long for refueling.


(Https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuns% 27_Island_gas_station)



On DVD, Mies’s major works such as Lake Shore Drive Apartment, Seagram Building, Illinois Institute of Technology Crown Hall and others will appear with testimonies of related persons.


(Lakeshore drive apartment:

Mies seagram building

(Seagram Building: http: //www.375parkavenue.com/History)

IIT Crown Hall

(Illinois Institute of Technology Crown Hall:

Film seems somewhat unsatisfactory as it is just tracing the footsteps and works of the giant Mies van der Rohe, however it is fun to watch some of Mies’s masterpiece along with cool JAZZ sound .

The city architectural view of Chicago and New York projected on the glass curtain wall, the scene shot with clouds flowing through a sharp skyline, the architecture of glass object emerging in dusky. The poetry of the cool and sharpened city that Mies’s architecture has has well captured.

As the influence of the Nazis expanded to Bauhaus, which Mies van der Rohe was the third principal, was closed in 1933. In 1938, Mies decided to immigrate to the United States and will teach at the Department of Architecture at Armor Institute of Technology in Chicago (later Illinois Institute of Technology).

It may seem surprising that masters Mies designed the gas station, however there are many well known architects have designed gas stations.

Early architects such as Arne Jacobsen and Sakakura Junzou have designed gas stations. It seems that Jacobsen’s gas station is still in use.

Arne Jacobsen Gas station

(Texaco service station by Arne Jacobsen:

Junzo sakakura gas station

(Apollo gas station by Sakakura Junzo:

A car or gas station is major infrastructure of a modern age. Modernist architects showed interest in these new functions and tried to give them shaping suitable for the new era with their own hands.

The gas station in Nan island went out business in 2008 and was abandoned, but it was converted by the Canadian architectural firm FABG in 2011, and now it is being rebuilt as an activity center for the elderly and youngs.

Ultra-cool is also seen after playback.

Mies gas station new


Mies gas station new #2


good example of excellent design is fine asset of a city.

Mies dies on August 17, 1969 without seeing completion of this gas station.


Mies says this in his last years. “Architecture is a language with discipline of grammar, language can be used for ordinary purposes such as prose, and if you are really good you can be a poet”
(Architecutural Record 146 published in September 1969 “Architectural Culture January 1998 Mies van der Rohe vol.1”)

Although the most architecture is a prose, It seems that he is telling us with quiet pride that his is poetry.
Mies was indulging in thought. He was always looking the window outside.

Mies van der Rohe continued to think the limit. About the ultimate essence of the material has, the sharpened details and proportion.

Witnesses implies in DVD. Even in the construction of the same glass Mies’s work is decisively different from Miesish’s style which will be the hands of others. They still not able to exceed Mies.

That is, so to speak, the difference between practical books and poetry. An outstanding design is a poet embedded in the city.

text by Tetuya Omura

* References, etc.: DVD “MIES VAN DER ROHE” (Joseph Hiller Director 2004 selling agency IMAGICA)
“Architectural Culture January 1998 Mies van der Rohe vol.1” (Shokokusha)
“Episode Mies van der Rohe” (Frank · Schulz Kashima Press 2006)