Hamilton, Bermuda, August 25, 2010 — Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, today celebrates the opening of a joint event with Neue Nationalgalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (New National Gallery in Berlin) in honor of famed German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The collection titled “There is a Reason” features the acclaimed works, drawings, plans and photographs of Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe and his unique relationship with Bacardi and Neue Nationalgalerie. The event kicks off today with an invitation-only reception and preview of the collection in the gallery’s Skulpturengarten (sculpture garden) and afterwards will be open to the public.
“Bacardi is honored to partner with Neue Nationalgalerie to pay homage to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a truly brilliant architect, as we both share a unique history with the famed designer,” said Séamus McBride, President and CEO of Bacardi Limited. Mies designed two buildings for Bacardi in Mexico and Cuba. However his plans for the Company’s global headquarters in Santiago de Cuba were never built due to the Cuban Revolution, the confiscation of Bacardi assets in Cuba and the subsequent exile of the Bacardi family by the Cuban government. Two similar buildings did emanate from Mies’ original design for Bacardi — Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany in 1968, and the Bacardi International Limited building in Bermuda in 1972, now the Company’s global headquarters.
“Neue Nationalgalerie showcases international artists from the 20th century while engaging all in the wonder of the arts. This presentation blends these two concepts so masterfully — just as Mies did with the original design of the Bacardi building in Cuba that led to this famed museum,” said Dr. Joachim Jäger, head of Neue Nationalgalerie. “We share such a common and timeless bond of classic simplicity and elegance with Bacardi and are happy to celebrate Mies’ brilliant works with this exclusive event in our beautiful Skulpturengarten, home to masterpieces of some of the greatest artists in the world.”
In 1929, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe first came into contact with BACARDI at the Barcelona International Exposition. At the Exposition, BACARDI and the Mies-designed Barcelona Pavilion were both awarded grand prizes for their originality and unrivaled quality. BACARDI continues its notable status to this day as the world’s most awarded rum.
Then-Bacardi president Jose “Pepín” Bosch hired Mies to design buildings for the Company’s headquarters in Santiago de Cuba and its Mexican operations in Tultitlán.
Mies traveled to Santiago de Cuba in 1957 where Bosch conveyed his vision for an “office without walls.” In his words, Bosch wanted an office “where there were no partitions, where everybody, both officers and employees, could see each other.” Mies picked up a napkin and began hand-sketching his first thoughts on the building design. A photograph of this napkin sketch is displayed in the gallery collection. Two years later in January 1959, Mies revealed his designs for the two Bacardi buildings at the Havana Hilton Hotel in Cuba. The following year, the Mexican building was completed and received international acclaim by the global architectural community.
Though Ludwig Mies van der Rohe did not see either of his creations, his buildings, based on the Bacardi philosophy of open spaces, are visited by thousands of people each year. “Bacardi believes the architecture of offices, love of art and commitment to creating the finest spirits in the world all reflect on our commitment to quality to our consumers,” added Mr. McBride.
This evening’s preview in the famed Skulpturengarten (sculpture garden) will feature an installation of iconic advertisements from the “Golden Age of Cocktails” and photographs of the lifestyle, music and heritage celebrating the Cuban roots of Bacardi.
Bacardi has been known as an innovator since its founding nearly 150 years ago when Don Facundo Bacardí Massó changed the world of spirits when he created BACARDI rum in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba. BACARDI went on to become the original rum used to create legendary cocktails like the Mojito (originated in 1862), the Daiquirí (originated in 1898), the Cuba Libre (originated in 1900) and Piña Colada (originated in 1922).
About Bacardi Limited
Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits company in the world and produces and markets a variety of internationally-recognized spirits and wines. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than 200 brands and labels, including some of the world’s favorite and best-known products: BACARDI® rum, the world’s favorite premium rum and world’s most awarded rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Scotch whisky, the top-selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top valued and fastest-growing premium gin in the world; MARTINI® vermouth, the world-leader in vermouth; CAZADORES® blue agave tequila, the top selling premium tequila in the world; and other leading brands. For additional information, please visit www.bacardilimited.com.
About Neue Nationalgalerie
For further information on Neue Nationalgalerie, please visit www.smb.museum/nng.
About Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies (March 27, 1886 – August 17, 1969) was a German-American architect. He was commonly referred to and addressed by his surname, Mies, by his colleagues, students, writers, and others. Mies is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. Mies, like many of his post-World War I contemporaries, sought to establish a new architectural style that could represent modern times just as Classical and Gothic did for their own eras. He created an influential 20th century architectural style, stated with extreme clarity and simplicity. His mature buildings made use of modern materials such as industrial steel and plate glass to define interior spaces. He strived toward architecture with a minimal framework of structural order balanced against the implied freedom of free-flowing open space. He called his buildings “skin and bones” architecture.