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THE BARCELONA CHAIR - 1929

V. Ryan 2011

 

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Barcelona Chair The German architect Luwig Mies Van Rohe, was given the responsibility to design his countries Pavilion (exhibition stand) for the 1929 Barcelona World Fair. The pavilion was to house manufactured German products, to promote German design, engineering and technology, in the same way trade fairs do today. His ‘Barcelona Chair’ (also called the Pavilion Chair) was designed between 1928 and 1929. It was one of the German exhibits at the Barcelona World Fair. It quickly became known as a classic modernist design. He became Director of Architecture, at the Bauhaus in 1930.
 
 
 
The original chair, each side frame was manufactured from two pieces of steel welded together and then ‘bolted’ together. In the 1950s stainless steel, a new material in furniture manufacture, was used for the construction of the frames. The adoption of stainless steel meant that the frame could be manufactured in one piece, without joint lines. It was mass produced in 1950s by ‘Knoll’ furniture manufacturers and this continues today.

From the side, the frame of the chair has a ‘scissor form, a sign of power from ancient Egyptian times. manufactured from two pieces of steel welded together. The welds are hand finished to a polished finish. The frame is them chromed, a relatively new technique as applied to furniture in 1929.


The cushions of the chair complement the curved frame. They are hand sewn from individual pieces of quality leather (the original chair had pig skin upholstery.
 
 
 
 
 
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