What is a Barcelona Chair

In 1929, Popular Modern Architect  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his assistant Lily Reich designed an X-shaped Leg chair made from chrome-plated stainless steel. This chair is popularly known as Barcelona Chair.

Mr. Mies designed the German Pavillion called as Barcelona Pavillion for the 1929 International Exposition which was hosted in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona chair got its name from the very pavilion it was created for.

Who is Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe?

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe or known as Mies is a Modern German-American architect contemporary to other great architects like Le Corbusier, Alva Aalto, Lily Reich, and Walter Gropius.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has designed many buildings and furniture in his lifetime. Here are some of his works,

Some of the buildings he designed,

  • German Pavillion
  • Chicago federal Complex
  • Farnsworth House
  • Seagram Building
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • New National Gallery
  • Crown Hall
  • Lake Shore Drive
  • And many more.

Also Read, What is a Hood Chair?

Along with Buildings he also created furniture designs. He was the first to use the cantilever design in Furniture. Here are a few Furniture designs he created in his lifetime:

  • Barcelona Chair
  • Barcelona Table
  • Brno Chair (Cantilever Design)
  • Tugendhat Chair(Cantilever Design)

Design of Barcelona Chair

Barcelona Chair is truly a modern design with a combination of chrome, steel, and leather. The legs are X-shaped and made out of Chrome-finished Stainless Steel. The seat is cushioned with a leather finish and on the back.

The use of seamless stainless steel makes it look smooth and the use of leather cushions and back gives it a luxury touch.

The upholstery was made from Worker housing Leather (Bovine Leather) which replaced the previously used Pigskin.

This was made for the Spanish royal family for watching opening ceremonies at different events and exhibitions.

It is also an art of minimalistic and modern design furniture.

Why is the Barcelona Chair so popular?

Barcelona Chair is popular for two reasons, 

Firstly it was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is considered as one of the pioneers of modern architects. He designed many monumental buildings and furniture in the twentieth century.

Secondly, the design was a work of modern-day minimalistic design and created for the Barcelona Pavillion for the 1929 International Exposition. The design is still in force and used in many settings.

Why is it called Barcelona Chair?

In 1929 International Exposition( 2nd World fair) was held in Barcelona in Spain where 14 European nations participated including Germany. All particip[ating countries showcased their architectural designs, layouts through pavilions.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the German Pavillion which was named as Barcelona Pavillion. This pavilion was based on the spatial design with modern-day structures and materials.

As a part of the Interior decor, he designed a minimalistic chair with modern-day materials like steel, chrome, and leather. It derived its name from the pavilion it was built for and thus the name Barcelona Chair.

What type of chair is Barcelona Chair?

Barcelona Chair is a Stainless steel chair with Leather upholstery. It is a handcrafted chair where craftsmanship mixes with modern design. It is a modern-day chair made for seating, relaxing, watching games, movies.

Why are Barcelona chairs so expensive?

Barcelona Chair is expensive because of 2 reasons.

  1. it is a sign of modern days architecture, designed by Pioneer Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
  2. This classic minimalistic piece of art is 100% handcrafted.

The price of a Barcelona chair on Knoll.com starts from 6738$.

Is Barcelona Chair Bauhaus?

Yes, the Barcelona chair is Bauhaus. The famous Bauhaus style uses geometry designs like spheres, rectangles, and rounded rectangles in the buildings and furniture. It also uses chrome steel pipes that bend at the corner to give seamless look. 

Barcelona chair is built on the same principles as X-design, and chrome metal pipes.

Who owns the rights to the Barcelona Chair?

Technically Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the original creator, and designer of Barcelona Chair owns the rights to it.

But many manufacturers and retailers are selling these chairs under different names. Knoll Inc was the first to manufacture Barcelona chairs from steel and chrome with the creator’s name inscribed to the chair body.

What was the other name given to the Barcelona Chair?

Barcelona chair in today’s time is referred to as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe chair(creator) or Knoll Barcelona chair(first one to manufacture)

What Colour was the original Barcelona chair?

The original Barcelona chair had Ivory color Leather (Pig Skin color) seats and back cover and was made from steel pipes.

Why is the Barcelona chair a classic design?

The creation of the Barcelona Chair can be dated back to the 20th century almost 200 years back.

The design of the Barcelona chair dates back to 1929 conceptualized by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the pioneers of European modern architecture and design. An inspired and modified version of the classic roman Curule Chair used in ancient Rome and Europe in the 20th century.

Does the Barcelona chair fold?

No, The Barcelona Chair is not foldable. It is made from stainless steel pipes. But the Curule chair, from where the idea of creating the Barcelona chair is taken can be folded.

Who manufactures Barcelona chairs?

There are many manufacturers and retailers who deal with Barcelona chairs. Companies like Knoll Inc, Barcelona-Designs, Manhattan Home Design, 1st Dibs, and retailer Moma.Org manufacture and sell Barcelona chairs and Barcelona chair replicas.

What are the Dimensions of a Berceloan Chair?

The ideal height, width, and depth of a Barcelona chair are 30″(H) x 30 “(W) x 30 “(D) respectively. The ideal seat height from the ground is approximately 17″-18″.

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