Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began his career working in his father's stonemasonry business. After an apprenticeship with furniture designer Bruno Paul in Berlin, he joined the office of architect Peter Behrens, whose work presaged the modern movement. In 1912, Mies established his own office in Berlin, and later became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund and Director of the Bauhaus.
He immigrated to the United States in 1938, setting up a practice in Chicago. His buildings include the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona Exposition, the Tugendhat Villa in Brno, Czechoslovakia, the Seagram Building, designed with Philip Johnson, a cluster of residential towers along Chicago's Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, where he was the director of architecture.