Pair of Barcelona chairs by Mies Van der Rohe for Knoll International in black leather. Engraved in the frame and marked with Knoll logo at the bottom of the cushions. Wonderful vintage condition. Priced as a pair.
One of the most recognized objects of the last century, and an icon of the modern movement, the Barcelona chair exudes a simple elegance that epitomizes Mies van der Rohe’s most famous maxim–“less is more.” Each Barcelona piece is a tribute to the marriage of modern design and exceptional craftsmanship.
As a rising figure of the modernist movement, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was selected to design the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. Through masterful proportioning and planning, Mies created a rhythmic and entirely unprecedented space, which elevated Industrial-age materials to a level of grace never before achieved. Inside, Mies included chairs and stools conceived as a resting place for the King and Queen of Spain.
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. Mies: “I feel that it must be possible to harmonize the old and new in our civilization.” Although the Barcelona Pavilion only stood for seven months, it is recognized as a defining achievement of modern architecture, as are the accompanying Barcelona Chairs (although the King and Queen reportedly never sat in them).
Mies, a close friend and mentor to Florence Knoll during her time at the Illinois Institute of Technology, formally granted Knoll the production rights to the Barcelona chair and stool in 1953. The designs immediately became a signature of the Knoll brand and have been built to Mies van der Rohe’s exacting standards ever since.