“Lafayette Park: The Settlement Shape”
Mies van der Rohe Society’s exhibit looks at the architect’s work in Detroit.
Not surprisingly, the Mies van der Rohe Society exhibit “Lafayette Park: The Settlement Shape” is biased: The well-crafted, minimal display of designs, models and documents only serves to further Mies’s image as a genius. I’d have liked to hear about a problem or two, and there must’ve been some—the sprawling moderate-income housing project was built in downtown Detroit in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The star of the show might be not be Mies at all but his collaborator Alfred Caldwell, whose sentimental natural landscaping, viewable in photos, highlights Mies’s precise proportions while tempering his grids’ stolidness.