Tuesday, 8 June 2010

IDC History Class - the 81 years of the Barcelona Chair

Exclusively designed for the German Pavilion, this was that country's entry for the International ‘Exposition’ of 1929, which was hosted by Barcelona. The design resulted from collaboration between the famous Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his longtime partner and companion, architect and designer Lilly Reich. An icon of modernism, the chair's design was inspired by the rustic, folding chairs of ancient times.

The Barcelona chair was an exception for Bauhaus. It was designed for the Spanish Royalty to oversee the opening ceremonies of the Exhibition and described by Time magazine as inhabiting "his sumptuous German pavillion." The form is thought to be extrapolated from Roman folding chairs known as Curule seat - upholstered stools used by Roman aristocracy. And despite the industrial appearance the Barcelona chair requires much hand craftsmanship.

Since 1953 Knoll Inc has manufactured the chair which is almost completely hand-laboured, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's signature is stamped into each chair. Falsifications proliferate and are sold worldwide.

We will be glad to help you search for, understand and purchase any Knoll product

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