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Mies van der Rohe

The Barcelona Chair, a well-known chair. Its designer is Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, born on 27 March 1886, in Aachen, Germany. Van der Rohe was a salient German-American furniture maker who influenced many developments of the 20th century architecture. His career started by designing buildings and homes. In 1907, he realised his first house, the Riehl House in Potsdam.

Barcelona Chair exhibition

In 1929, he designed the German Pavilion for the Barcelona world exhibition in Spain: a building composed of tight, straight surfaces, executed in a spectrum of luxurious materials. Van der Rohe’s architectural style is characterised by tight lines, the use of steel, concrete, glass and cleverly devised with beautiful angular shapes. You could really say that the motto “Less is more” summarises his style. The shapes had to be reduced to a minimum, but it had to be perfect anyhow. This way you can say that he is the inventor of the standard skyscraper; a ‘block’ consisting of a steel framework filled with glass, in which the outer wall did not have a supporting function anymore; the entire building was supported by an internal frame.

Van der Rohe characteristics

Van der Rohe proved to have more fields of interest during that world exhibition. So, in 1929, he designed the famous Barcelona Chair together with his fellow architect and friend, Lily Reich. Van der Rohe wanted to design a minimalist lounge chair, which would also offer a solution for the overcrowded Club Chairs. The Barcelona Chair is characterised by its chrome-plated steel and leather seat. The Barcelona Chair was introduced with an accompanying footstool and, at a later stage, it was even made as a two-seater and a three-seater Barcelona Couch. The Barcelona Daybed from 1930 is nowadays a very well-known design as well. In 1931, another well-known design was introduced by Mies van der Rohe: The Chaise Longue. They are all wonderful designs in which simplicity and relaxation merge.  

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