An icon of the modern movement, the Barcelona Chair is a tribute to the marriage of design and craftsmanship. As a rising figure of the modernist movement, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was selected to design the Weimar Republic’s Pavilion for the Barcelona Industrial Exposition of 1929.
Through masterful proportioning and planning, Mies van der Rohe created a rhythmic and entirely unprecedented space, which elevated industrial-age materials to a level of grace never before achieved. Inside, Mies van der Rohe included chairs and stools conceived as a resting place for the King and Queen of Spain.
“It was to receive a king.. The chair had to be … monumental.
In those circumstances, you just couldn’t use a kitchen chair.”
- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Determined to create a chair worthy of royalty, Mies is thought to have based the designs, with their signature crisscross frames, on the campaign chairs of Ancient Rome.
The highest quality of detailing was required for the chairs’ intended audience (though the King and Queen never sat down). Produced by Knoll since 1948 to Mies van der Rohe’s exacting standards, the Barcelona collection exudes an understated regal grandeur, no matter where it is placed.
- Upholstered with 40 individual panels. Individual panels are cut, hand-welted, and hand-tufted with leather buttons produced from a single cowhide. Cushions are premium quality, highly resilient urethane foam with down-like dacron polyester fiberfill
- Upholstery straps are cowhide belting leather. Sides are dyed to match specified upholstery color. 17 straps are used for cushion support
- Frame is polished chrome hand-ground and hand-buffed to a mirror finish. Upholstery straps attached with aluminum rivets
- The KnollStudio logo and signature of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are stamped into the leg. That’s how you can spot the real deal!
A chair is a very difficult object.
A skyscraper is almost easier.
That is why Chippendale is famous.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
While chairs may be very difficult objects, Mies van der Rohe’s designs for Knoll sure make it look effortless.
The visage of the modern metropolis – a dramatic skyline accentuated by the contrast of light & shadow, created by towers of gleaming glass & polished steel – can be attributed in part to the influence of Ludwig van de Rohe. Regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s ‘less-is-more’ approach to design has been revered as the gold standard for many generations of modern architecture.
Mies’ contributions to home furnishings are revered as equally significant, if smaller only in physical scale, to that of his achievements in architecture. Heralded as “architecture in miniature” – these pieces exemplify his keen sense of proportion & aesthetic. The skillful combination of minimalist forms with exquisite materials and details essentializes the legacy left by this mastermind of the modern minimalist movement.
The Knoll Space Sale starts Friday, September 20th and runs through Tuesday, October 1st.
Originally designed in 1929 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the International Exposition hosted in Barcelona, Spain, the Barcelona Chair has since remained an icon of modern design and the inspiration for many counterfeits. It’s part of the Knoll Classics Sale and will receive 15% Off and FREE in-home white glove delivery* from Monday, February 25th through Sunday, March 3rd.
*For orders over $500 being delivered to the DC Metro Area.
The 2012 Knoll Space Sale is in full swing here at Vastu and we’re seeing some great ideas come alive in client orders. If you’re still waiting on placing your own order, check out these great photos from past projects that include some iconic Knoll pieces.
Don’t forget, the Knoll Space Sale lasts through September 30th and includes Free In-Home White Glove Delivery for orders to the DC Metro Area.
See you soon!
With the official beginning of Fall comes two things, the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks (Yum!) and the Annual Knoll Space Sale.
It’s your chance to take 15% off all new orders from the entire Knoll Space catalog!
The sale runs from next Friday, September 21st through Sunday, September 30th.
15% Off – The Annual Knoll Space Sale
September 21 – 30, 2012
1829 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 2009
We received our floor model of the Tab F floor lamp the other day and in trying to find a spot for it decided to place it next to our Barcelona chair. At a little over 43″ high, the Tab F is about a foot taller than the Barcelona, but these proportions brought to mind the perfect function for a pair like this: a reading corner!
With its low-slung dimensions, loungey appearance and wide seat, the Barcelona makes a great reading chair. Together with the height of the Tab F floor lamp and its pure light it gives off from the LED bulbs our version came with (you can also get a Halogen model), it makes you want to grab one of your favorite books and just relax.
Preferably in the comfort of an air-conditioned room…
While I don’t really expect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to be doing a whole lot of celebrating today, it is great to know that his designs have lived on and become loved classics that are famous the world over.
Whether it’s something like the, much-copied and forged, Barcelona Chair…
Or the Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology (said to be his crowning achievement) that today’s Google Doodle is based on…
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was, and continues to be, a master of Modern, minimalist, “skin and bones” architecture.
If you’ve done anything on Google within the past several hours, you’ll have noticed today’s doodle for this holiday that ranges from a general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.
We’re big fans of equality in all its forms so International Women’s Day is right up our alley, especially when you think about all the great female designer’s that have contributed to the furniture, interior design and architectural industries. Here’s just a few… Read more
Running from October 15th to the 23rd and sponsored by the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, National Design Week is its “largest education initiative, [which] aims to draw national attention to the ways in which design enriches everyday life.”
As the 2011 winner of the 2011 National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement, Knoll knows a thing or two about good design.
Whether its an office chair you sit in everyday or a lounge chair that’s equal parts “art and industry”, Knoll products for both home and office are created by some of the best designers on the planet. This is something that Knoll has always strived for since its inception in 1938 by Hans Knoll. He founded the company “based on the conviction that good design enriches and improves our lives.”
So what do you think? Where do you see design improving your daily life?
The Annual Knoll Space Sale starts today at Vastu! Enjoy 15% off all new Knoll orders placed between now and Oct 3,2010. We dedicated this week’s blog posts to a few of Knoll’s iconic furniture designs, and we’ll head into the weekend with a look at the work of designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.