All posts by Faddy Al-khouri

Neue Nationalgalerie

the new galary

The Neue Nationalgalerie is in german for The New National Gallery. Van Der Rohe designed this building and was opened in 1968. It is a museum of modern art located in the capitol Berlin. The building is divided into two sections, an upper and a lower section. The upper section introduces the entrance hall as well as the gallery. The lower section serves the housing for the art collections and it also includes rooms, offices, shops and a library. This is an example of his simple works and details into modernism architecture.

Seagram Building


The Seagram Building was constructed in 1958, and proved to be something completely new from what had been built before its time. Like many of Mies’s works, the Seagram building had a simple yet elegant design. The building makes use of glass and metal rather than hard stone like much of its preceding works. The Seagram Building is long and wide with focus on the details rather than the complexity. It is a perfect example of Mies’s modernistic style.

Villa Tugendhat


One of the only examples of modern architecture in the Czech Republic is the Villa Tugendhat. It was designed by Van der Rohe and built in 1930. The villa is three stories and is built on a slope. Again, Mies held to his style of “less is more” when designing this piece. It is very open, and everything is designed for a purpose. The Villa Tugendhat is a great example of early functionalism.

860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments

lake shore

Mies Van Der Rohe designed the 860-880 Lake Shore Drive Apartments that stand in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The apartments were erected in in 1951 and champion Van Der Rohe’s modernism style. The two towers are twenty-six floors each of glass and steel. They are nicknamed the “Glass House” apartments because of their basic design of large glass panes. Although not very popular with the public at the time they were built, the Lake Shore Drive Apartments are viewed now as a prototype for glass and steel buildings around the world.

Barcelona Pavilion


The Barcelona Pavilion was constructed to accommodate the formal meetings of the King of Spain, including the 1929 Barcelona International Convention. The structure utilizes only three essential materials: glass, steel, and marble. After serving its purpose, the pavilion was deconstructed, but its popularity forced it to be built again at the original sight. The Barcelona Pavilion is another prominent example of Van Der Rohe’s Modernistic style.

The Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House

The Farnsworth House, located southwest of Chicago, Illinois, is a classic work of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe’s. It beautifully represents naked-structure style he is known for. Large steel beems separate two concrete slabs in wide-open one room suite. Van Der Rohe stressed open spaces and minimal material. This ideal is even held in the commodities of the house. Only a heating coil within the floor heats the house, and ventilation design and the shade of a tree are all that cool it. The Farnsworth House may not be the most comfortable place to live, but it is an aesthetic piece of architecture.

Saidnaya Monastery

The Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya

This is Saidnaya meaning “Our lady” in Aramaic. It is located north of Damascus, Syria. It is called Our Lady because this historic church mostly worships the Virgin Mary.   The villagers in this city mostly speak Syrian-Aramaic, they are the fewest in the world that still speak Jesus’s language. The last time I visited this monastery was in 2009. My family goes to a famous restaurant nearby so we visit every once in awhile. The inside of the building is beautiful, everything was made out of stone, but the coolest part of the place is the worship room. The entrance had a short door, about 5 feet tall, and you had to take off your shoes before entering. Inside it was dim, the only source of light were the many candles that were lit in the room. The room was filled with pictures of prophets, Jesus and mostly the Virgin Mary.

Here is a second picture of the inside.

saidnaya 2

Al-Hamidiyah Souq

souk entrancesouk stores

This “Souq” meaning Market in english is one of the oldest markets in the world. It is located in the old city of Damascus. There are hundreds of stores glued together side by side and it extends all the way to the Umayyad Mosque, where all the people end up gathering. The first photo shows the entrance, it used to be a gate in the old times but now it has been removed so that people can move more freely into the historic market. The second picture shows the stores lined side by side also opposite to each other. You can also see tiny holes made in the ceiling for ventilation.

Bab Touma


Bab touma1

Bab Touma is one of the seven gates in the old city of Damascus. In the first picture you can see the gate is partially destroyed on its sides to make new roads and construction to other homes. Behind the gate is where the old houses still exist and are habitable. The second pictures shows the narrow streets with brick pavement that still dates before Christ. The doors on the side of the narrow streets leads to the homes. Inside each door can hold up to four families, each having their separate rooms.  However some  streets inside the beautiful city had to be reconstructed to regular asphalt because of damages overtime.

Umayyad Mosque

umayyad mosque

This is the Umayyad Mosque, it is the largest mosque in the  country, located in the oldest part of Damascus, Syria. I visited this place on a field trip we had in middle school to experience the old heritage site and learn about its history. Turns out many years ago this building used to be a Church. It was built by the Romans in the 6th century. My favorite part about this building is that everything is still maintained as original with minimal repairs to the pavement as it became uneven overtime. The courtyard surrounding  is supported by stone columns and piers.