Much like Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies Van de Rohe has been credited with being a pioneer of what is now called modern architecture as well as recognised as being known for his contribution to office furniture. He had a unique style of work that he produced compared to his rivals at the time. He is most famous for the designing of buildings however the Barcelona chair has stood the test of time and is as popular today as it was when it was first produced.
This chair can be used for a range of functions, including reception seating and can be classed as designer furniture. Originally designed for the German Pavillion, the Barcelona chair was not a sole invention by Ludwig, but was helped by another architect and designer Lilly Reich. The simple design of the Barcelona chair was actually based on the campaign and folding chairs of ancient times and it wasn’t long before this chair became an iconic symbol of modernism.
The chair itself was very rarely used at the German Pavillion, however due to its design was quickly named “a design worthy of kings”. The frame was originally designed to be bolted together, however in 1950 the chair was redesigned to become a seamless piece of metal and gave the overall effect a smoother finish. Not only this but the material changed from pigskin to bovine leather which added to the chairs appeal.
Today it is manufacturer Knoll that claims to be the licensed manufacturer of the chair and hold the trademark rights for its design however there are replicas of the chair on the market.