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Arts & Culture

The Barcelona Chair 

Written by James

Barcelona is home to many great inventions and architectural wonders including the Barcelona chair first designed in 1929 for the German Pavilion of the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. Barcelona bar stools have also been designed based on this original modernist furniture style and provides a meeting of two worlds classic materials and modern design. In the most luxury Barcelona apartments can be found examples of this great style originating here.

Barcelona bar stools ludwig mies roheThe Origin of the Chair

The most infamous use of the Barcelona chair was in the Villa Tugendhat after the Exposition. This Villa was a pioneering modern architecture prototype built in the Czech Republic between 1928 in 1930. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is responsible for this amazing iconic Villa and it’s representing Modernist styles. The Barcelona chair was first used in this Villa. Mies’ design principles focused on an early expression of functionalism creating furniture and spaces that provided specific amenities through clean lines and the expression of “less is more”. The villa was marked a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and went through extensive renovations and repair to restore it to its original status from 1930.


Barcelona bar stools chair foot stoolThe Barcelona Chair

The chair design that was part of the International Exposition of 1929 was meant to enhance and elevate the industrial age materials to a level of grace and style never before achieved. Mies thought of the chairs as a resting place for the King and Queen of Spain, although it is reported they were never used as such. The signature crisscross frames of the Barcelona chair, Mies attributed to the campaign shares used by the Roman military in an effort to harmonize the old and new in civilization. Accompanying the original chair was a footstool that enables complete comfort. The blending of designs of the metallic crisscross feet with the comfort level of supple leather provided a design that lasts to this very day. Knoll currently manufactures the chair worldwide under license from the architect with his signature stamped into each chair. Many knockoffs around the world are available through different marketing names.


Barcelona bar stoolsThe Barcelona Bar Stool

A variation of the Barcelona chair can be found in bars, pubs and clubs around the world. This innovative style has been changed into a saddle style bar stool with the classic chair incorporations of stainless steel and leather iterations. Bar stool styles that can include some of the innovations of the original Barcelona chair can include a traditional barstool, modern or contemporary, transitional, and country or rustic stools. In any example this furniture style has become an iconic representation of furniture styles from Barcelona that complement functional modern amenities with classic or traditional lines.

The next time you enjoy sitting on a bar stool that has the functional and stylistic design of the Barcelona bar stools think of the history of the design and how it Incorporated ancient style with modern materials. When looking to outfit luxury Barcelona apartments this style of furniture would fit well into most designs.

About the author


James is a passionate writer in love with the beautiful city of Barcelona.

1 Comment

  • This is what I call a really legendary design. Few pieces of furniture can be called as iconic as the Barcelona chair. It seems incredible that almost a hundred years have passed since it was first released on the market and, since then, it has been so famous that it has appeared in all kinds of audiovisual productions and is the favorite of interior designers around the world, lovers of modernism. Mine is a replica that I bought from Manhattan Home Design, and it’s quite faithful to the authentic piece.

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