The last project famed architect Mies van der Rohe worked on would have also been his only building in the UK. Made of amber glass and steel, the office tower almost graced Mansion House Square in the City of London. Instead, James Stirling’s recently-landmarked, Postmodernist No 1 Poultry building occupies the site. How and why this happened involves, like many stories concerning the post-war development of London, the intervention of the Prince of Wales amidst the cultural and economic tumult that marked the city in the latter half of the twentieth century. It is “a tale of 1980s London egos, of personal and political intrigue, and power plays from the peerage, Prince and prime minister. It captures a moment when belief in modernism was fading and when the public realm came to be privatised.”
The REAL Foundation is attempting to publish a high-quality publication documenting the story of the building, replete with never-before-seen photo-collages, plans, sections, elevations, details, and images of the many custom objects—from door handles to ashtrays—designed by Mies himself. They’ve launched a Kickstarter and are less than $3,000 away from fully-funding the project, with a mere 9 days left.