1929 Ibero-American Exposition, Barcelona Spain. The world was entranced at the German pavilion. The Barcelona chair, the couch and the table held pride alongside the work of the renowned sculptor George Kolbe. Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, chair designer, had successfully made the responsibility resting on his shoulders. He was entrusted to produce such a building that would announce the revival of Germanys cultural skills and undoubtedly prove their creative achievements and commercial feasibility.
The Barcelonastolen, sometimes referred to as the Pavillion Chair, was designed by Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion in 1929, which was the countrys entry to the international exposition hosted by Barcelona, Spain. They were designed to compliment the pavilion during the fair. With their elegant shape they were seen as more of a sculptural object. An icon of modernism and still to this day looks like a modern furniture, the design inspired by the antique campaign and folding chairs.
The design was changed in 1950, originally it was bolted together, but the new frame was built in stainless steel which made it possible to be a metal part, which gives a much evener look. Leather was also introduced to replace swine leather.
In 1953, Van der Rohe gave his rights and his name on the design to Florence Knoll, as he knew that the design patents ceased to apply. This collaboration renewed popularity in the design and has since become such an iconic and popular piece.
There are many reproductions of this classic. Designer furniture stores around the world offer this chair a fraction of the original price that has been made is much cheaper without compromising on quality. It is also available in many wonderful colors and fabrics. From bright orange cashmere to red to purple to sunbathe, there are enough colors to suit everyones taste. Usually the leather chairs are immediately available with the many cashmere colors. A wait of 8 weeks is not uncommon because they are made to order.
There are not only Barcelona chairs but also Barcelonas sofas. They come as 2-seater or 3-seater so you can really have the full set.
The highly reputed Barcelona chair was the result of the involvement of both Mies and Lilly Reich, his long-standing partner and companion, a recent utility. Reich was a highly rewarded designer and architect. She was the first woman to become a member of Deutscher Werkbund, an organization whose main focus was the German design industry, its quality, development and marketing.
When two people contribute to a design, it is hard to say who gave more. But the fact that Mies did not design furniture before his union with Reich and that he did not patent any more patterns after he left her to move to America is a moving and remarkable thing.
The designer had been inspired by old folding camping chairs. The royal design was placed in a modern environment giving instant commendation to the designers. The chairs were an exception to the Bauhaus, whose purpose was to produce affordable furniture for the working class masses. This chair was expensive and difficult to produce in large numbers.
The Barcelona chair was a new and modern design. The designers used cleverly negative space to turn a functional piece of furniture into one piece.
The original chair was made of steel that was chromed. The frames were bolted together. Leather straps were used to suspend the pillows covered with ivory colored pigskin. In 1950, the chair was restructured with stainless steel. The seamless frames formed a fluid structure. The pigskin was replaced with bovine leather.
Knoll has the exclusive right to manufacture original chairs. The original carries the signature of the maestro and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
The Barcelona chair does not lighten easily, so its only natural that Barcelonas chairimitations are everywhere. The fascination with this part has not diminished over the years. Most of the cheap fake chairs are of poor quality and do not last long. Also available are some manufacturers who make Barcelona chair productions that are as good if not better than the original.
The chair is so much demanded that online Barcelona chair autocad tutoring is also available for designers who want to design similar chairs for their customers.