Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe
The Barcelona chair was designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1931. The manufacturer Knoll holds the right to the original chairs, and it is one of the designer chairs of which fewest originals are made. The chair was originally designed for the German Pavilion, which was featured at the World Exhibition in 1929, which that year was held in Barcelona. The architect and designer Mies van der Rohe's chair, was used for the first time in Villa Tugendhat in the Czech Republic. This is a building which he himself had designed.
On this site you can read about:
- The original design
- Colours and materials
- Prices of the chairs
- Barcelona chair in white, brown, black and other colours
The designer chair has a beautiful style that fits into almost every home. It can, however, be very individual, which colour and final finish that best fits your particular living room, your office or anywhere else in the home you want to place the chair. You can choose between:
- Leather and aniline leather
- In the colours:
- Cream / off white
- Dark brown
Black is the most classic and popular chair, and fits well with many black leather sofas, and is therefore a nice addition to the sitting area. Also white and brown are on the classic side, although the white is less common and really light up the room. It is ideal for the very light Scandinavian décor style.
A red Barcelona chair is for those who are more into colours and wants to spruce up their home.
Materials and dimensions
|Seat height||44 cm|
Upholstery: Aniline leather (and original also in leather)
Padding: Foam, silk thread
Frame: Stainless steel
Legs: Stainless steel
Although you might not immediately notice it, much of the Barcelona chair is assembled by hand. As it is a hallmark for designer chairs, there is a high degree of focus on every detail. The upholstery is assembled from as many as 148 pieces of leather. The frame, which has been made of stainless steel since 1950, is hand polished to have a mirror finish. Redesigned in 1950 to have stainless steel frame instead of the previous composite frame, gave the chair a slightly softer look.
Original chairs have Mies van der Rohe's signature, as well as Knoll's logo engraved on the right leg of the chair – in addition to an individual production number. As mentioned before, there are very few completely original chairs with the designer's signature, and copies of this chair are more common.
Untraditional child of the Bauhaus-tradition
Mies van der Rohe was the last front figure for the Bauhaus school before it was closed by the Nazis and he had to flee to the United States. However, the Barcelona chair is not a distinct design of the Bauhaus style, which is characterized by the austere and unpretentious. Instead, it was originally designed for the Spanish king, so he could sit comfortably in the German Pavilion, when he was attending the opening of the World Expo in 1929.
Bauhaus was a school of architecture and art, which played a significant role in the interwar period, both in Germany and across the rest of Europe. The school was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919. The basic idea was to fuse art and craft. In this way the Barcelona chair is well in line with this, since it is both beautiful and, made with great craftsmanship while being immensely comfortable to sit in. The problem is rather the price, which conflicts with the Bauhaus idea that art and design should be for the common man, but that price-wise is far above.
The Barcelona chair – compare the prices
An original Barcelona chair costs around 54.600kr. (£6.475 / $8.235)