❝The chair is a very difficult object. Everyone who has ever tried to make one knows that. There are endless possibilities and many problems – the chair has to be light, it has to be strong, it has to be comfortable. It is almost easier to build a sky scraper than a chair.❞ – Mies van der Rohe
My affection for chairs is hugely influenced by Hiro’s keen obsession with them. One of the first chairs that took my fancy was the Barcelona Chair designed by Mies van der Rohe and Lily Reich in 1929. So when Hiro took me on a weekend trip to Barcelona, it went without saying that a visit to the German Pavilion would be a must. As it turns out, this is the 1st thing that we did.
To me this leather and chrome chair is a thing of beauty. The original Barcelona Chair was designed to me bolted together and the seats made of cream coloured pig skin. In 1950, this was redesigned using a seamless chromed stainless steel frame which is hand buffed to a mirror-like finish and 148 separate pieces of bovine leather to form the cushions.
It is said that one of these chairs is an original 1929 version. I was to pleased to see them and was sorely tempted to flout the rules and rest my unroyal rump on one while the security guard nipped off somewhere.
The Pavilion itself is an architectural poem of clean lines that narrow and focus visitor’s lines of vision to the framed views intended by Mies. The interior of the pavilion consists of a series of offset marble and glass partitions. Four types of Marble are used throughout the structure,giving it a smooth and infinitely tactile quality.
I am a fan of the Bauhaus and feel so lucky that I have got to visit this iconic building and see one of my favourite chairs in it’s near original form.
Mies van der Rohe was the last director of the Bauhaus before the Nazi’s finally forced the school’s closure.
| Wikipedia info | Barcelona Pavilion |
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