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Alternative Aesthetics

1st Semester MA Interior Architecture



In the winter semester 2022/23, the first IMIAD semester worked together with 10 exchange students from its partner university University of Cincinnati on an impromptu on the topic of alternative materials and their aesthetics.

What would Mies have done (today)?
What were the environmental consequences of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s choice of materials?
„Climate neutrality was not an issue for Mies van der Rohe when he designed the pavilion for the 1929 World’s Fair. But how would he build it today? Would he replace marble and travertine with wood? “ (Wessely, 2022)

Students were asked to re-imagine a world-renowned interior („architectural classic“) using alternative materials based on a given photograph. After a thorough analysis of the given building, 3-5 sustainable material alternatives were to be used to replace the existing ones, considering aesthetical, constructional and ecological aspects. Then, the visualization was created based on the photo. Lastly, a relevant (structural) detail, changed by the use of a new material, was identified and drawn as a texturized isometry.

The impromptu was supervised by A.M. Dipl.-Des. Melissa Acker.

Source: Wessely, Heike (2022): „Mies van der Rohe Pavillon in Barcelona – aber bitte aus Holz“, DETAIL (online), (accessed Oct 15, 2022)

©️ Sven Pfeiffer, MY-CO-X Collective
©️ Adrià Goula

The cross-laminated timber (CLT)-installation „Mass is more“ was on display for 10 days in 2022 (until October 9) at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona.

Architecture: Daniel Ibánez (IAAC), Vicente Guallart (IAAC), Alan Organschi (Bauhaus Erde)

Project participants: IAAC, Bauhaus Earth, Mass Madera, Built by Nature

Location: Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe, Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7, 08038 Barcelona (ES)

Interactive installation: Bestiario

Construction: Finsa and Xilonor

Funding: CLT donated by a Galician timber company and supported by a variety of public and private entities


All works are displayed with the consent of the authors.