If you’re wondering what that glass-and-steel doodle occupying the upper left corner of your search engine today is, look no farther than Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Google is honoring the vanguard of modern architecture on what would have been his 126th birthday.

Mies’ buildings defined post-World War I architecture and, indeed, generations to come. His masterpiece — and the building shown in the doodle — S.R. Crown Hall was also where Mies taught at the the Illinois Institute of Technology’s architecture school for several decades.

Before Mies immigrated to the States, he had already established himself as a leading force in Germany’s Modernist movement, despite not having a college education in architecture, alongside such icons as Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier. He also designed the Barcelona and Brno chairs that adorn houses and offices around the world today. After World War I ravaged his homeland, he moved to Chicago and ultimately to IIT, where he created the influential Second Chicago School.

Mies has been linked with the phrases “God is in the details” and “less is more.” Almost 42 years after his passing, with the minimalist master’s creations (IBM Plaza and 860-880 Lake Shore Drive) still dotting the skylines of the Windy City and the world, it certainly is.

What do you think, PopWatchers? What is your favorite Mies building? What Google doodle would you like to see next?

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