Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – Barcelona Chair (1929)
The Barcelona chair was designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, specifically for the Barcelona pavilion. As a representational pavilion for the republic of Weimar Germany, the pavilion’s sole role was to represent the country’s new and progressive spirit. The pavilion was one of the buildings and stands that represented the Weimar Republic. As the representational pavilion, it was the republic’s official embassy at the international exhibition, representing the country’s political and cultural values. According to Alejandro Lapunzina the pavilion did not have a specific function or building program, but a purely representational, honorific and ceremonial role. Given the pavilion’s purpose, it should come as no surprise, that the materials and shape of the chair are influenced by the occasion. Consisting of a chrome plated stainless-steel frame, fitted together in a shape that has been long since associated with power. The scissor-shape, known as a curule form, can be found in Egyptian, Greek and Roman designs. Thus the Barcelona chair is conceived as a luxury item, often found in the dwellings of well to do individuals. Nonetheless Mies has succeeded in creating a chair that encompasses both functionality and aesthetics.
Author: Blaž Korpnik
Photo: Barcelona Chair, Commons Wikimedia (By Miesbarcelonachair at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52422351