Why is The Barcelona Chair A Mid-Century Icon | History & Features

Mies Van der Rohe was a well-known German-American architect of the late 19th century. He is recognized as one of the most relevant figures in modernist architecture, creating iconic pieces such as the Barcelona chair and table.

At the end of the 19th century, the German government commissioned him to design the German pavilion at the World Exposition that was being held in Spain. Mies created this iconic Barcelona chair for just two purposes: to display it in the German Pavilion and to provide a simple example of his saying “less is more”.

At that time people adored this chair so much that Mies did not find another way but began to offer it en masse by associating with Knoll, who is the one who began to produce them.

So why is the Barcelona chair an icon of the 20th century? The answer is very simple!

Due to its materials, lines and texture.

After the Second World War, new materials emerged (in addition to wood) such as glass, plastic and steel, and a new integration of these materials into design. In this particular case, the innovation was the inclusion of steel under the cushions and support

If you analyze the shapes and lines of the chair you will notice that they are very clean and sophisticated, a representation of modernism.