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Condensed soup


What fun in the latest edition of Grey Room, the austere MIT Press quarterly arts journal. I commend its essay on Mies van der Rohe's New National Gallery, Berlin, called 'The Perspiration Affair'.

With photographs to prove the point, it highlights how the Master's much-vaunted 'transparency' is thwarted seasonally by condensation - a problem identified on the building's completion that has never been redressed. Authors Bettina Visman and Jürgen Mayer go on to admire the 'indistinct shimmering gold surface' of Scharoun's Staatsbibliothek across the way, seen through the gallery windows''milky blur'. Of course, Mies often spoke of bringing nature, buildings and people into 'a higher unity'. Not quite like this?

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