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Book of the year: Mies

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There’s just one contender for the architecture book of the year - Detlef Martin’s study of Mies van der Rohe

If you have £100 to spare, and are looking for the best architecture book of 2014, there is only one contender: Detlef Martin’s 544-page study of Mies van der Rohe, simply titled Mies and published by Phaidon.

Martin’s Mies is definitive, referencing many other books and writings on the architect. Martin’s specialism is the intellectual impulses that spurred the son of an Aachen stonemason to create the most copied architectural ouvre in Western architecture since Palladio.

It’s not an easy read – not because of the cadence deployed, which is fairly straightforward if a little dry, but because the book is so large and heavy. Designed and scaled like a coffee-table book and structured more like an academic paper, Mies is a curious beast.

But then so was the man himself.

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