Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Design Under the Influence: The Barcelona Chair

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Hello! It's Erika Brechtel from small shop with this month's "Design Under the Influence" featuring the one-and-only, award-winning Barcelona chair. I was actually surprised when I went through my previous 29(!) posts of this column and saw I had not written about this piece, especially since it is a prized piece in my own home. But I was more surprised that I did not know that Mies van der Rohe designed the chair as seating for the king and queen of Spain...and the stool for their royal attendants!
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You do probably know that the chair and stool were originally designed in 1929 to inhabit Mies van der Rohe's German Pavilion at the International Exhibition in Barcelona (and the reason why you'll sometimes hear this chair referred to as the "Pavilion" chair). The following year, he added the daybed to his Barcelona Collection, and by 1953 it became the "it" lounger when architect Philip Johnson selected it for his New York apartment.
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As a trained architect, Mies van der Rohe strove for a minimalist balance in form and materials in his furniture and buildings. Like many architects in the early part of the 20th century, Mies van der Rohe designed not only the exterior and interior structures but the furnishings within -- the whole package. (You could say they wanted total control over the inhabitant's experience!) But I love how this collection -- despite his best efforts -- can be found in spaces that exhibit a variety of styles, from classic to contemporary, to minimalist to maximalist, to retro to beach house, to even...chalet!
via MetHome
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Carlos Souza via Elle Decor
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Pieter Estersohn for Ralph Lauren in Elle Decor
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via Elle Decor
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The Barcelona Chair was honored with the Museum of Modern Art Award in 1977, and rightly so!

2 comments:

Capella said...

Oh how I would love to own a Barcelona chaise. I have just the place for it.

ohmybeautifullife said...

Like the Barcelona chaise - saw it in Villa Tugendhat.