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Barcelona Chair
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Barcelona Chair

About the Design

For the German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, German-American architect and furniture maker Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) — in collaboration with his romantic partner, designer Lilly Reich (1885–1947) — created a chair fit for royalty. The Spanish king, Alfonso XIII, was expected to attend the opening of the World’s Fair, and as Mies later stated, the chair needed to be “monumental . . . you just couldn’t use a kitchen chair.” In its X-shaped structure, the Barcelona chair recalls the ancient folding stools of Egypt and Rome and was designed with swooping lines and a luxe contrast of materials between the chrome-plated frame and quilted leather cushions. Like the pavilion surrounding it, the chair distilled Mies’s “less is more” aphorism.


By all accounts, King Alfonso XIII never got around to sitting on this modern throne. The pavilion, too, stood for only seven months before it was demolished. Nevertheless, the Barcelona chair was regarded as a masterwork of modernism, influencing countless buildings that followed with its minimalist aesthetic of marble, glass and steel, which gracefully flowed together from the exterior to the interior spaces. Out of all the pavilion’s components, the Barcelona chair had the most longevity as a stand-alone piece.


Shortly after the close of the pavilion, the Barcelona chair went into production, first handcrafted by the Berliner Metallgewerbe studio. It became popular in private residences, debuting in America in 1930 in the New York apartment of architect Philip Johnson, who had met Mies during his work on the German Pavilion in Spain. Fleeing the Nazis’ rise to power in Germany, Mies, too, soon moved to the United States. He relocated to Chicago, where he became the director of the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1938. It was there that he met designer Florence Knoll, who would help bring the Barcelona chair into mass production.


The earliest models of the Barcelona chair from Knoll were released in 1947. The design company and furniture manufacturer made slight updates to the chair over the years in response to new technology, including in 1964 changing the frame to stainless steel. Prevalent in office lobbies and architects’ homes, the Barcelona chair has seen numerous imitators, so in 2004 Knoll finally received a federal trade dress protection for it and four other pieces by Mies. Knoll continues to produce the chair, and although the 21st-century version differs slightly from the 1929 original, it still embodies Mies and Reich's vision of design elegance in its balance of function and form.


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1st-Gen Knoll Associates Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe, Double Signed
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lilly Reich, Knoll
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Being one of the most copied designs (and a timeless Classic), we never purchase unsigned Barcelona chairs and we suggest you be hesitant when considering an unsigned example, so of ...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Mid-Century Modern Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chairs by Knoll
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Port Jervis, NY
Iconic chairs by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll. Great condition with 3 buttons that have been replaced on the seat cushions. Chrome frames with dovetail construction, cushions a...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Mies van Der Rohe Pair of Barcelona Chairs and Ottoman for Knoll International
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Chicago, IL
Mies van Der Rohe, pair of Barcelona chairs and ottoman for Knoll International: Vintage stainless steel frames, new cushions in Spinneybeck putty color leather, 40 squares per chai...
Category

Vintage 1960s North American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather, Stained Glass

Museum Quality Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chairs with Table
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Dallas, TX
Someone heavily involved in the Mies catalogue raisonne project has personally confirmed that these chairs are in fact authentic Barcelona chairs manufactured by the German Company, ...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Bauhaus Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Original Ludwig Mies van der Rohe “Barcelona” Lounge Chairs for Knoll
By Florence Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A pair of “Barcelona” chairs designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Florence Knoll Inc. in the United States circa 1960’s. Initially created for the German Pavilion at the Barcelon...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Pair of Barcelona Chairs and Ottomans for Knoll
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Houston, TX
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll pair of Barcelona chairs and ottomans Custom ordered red leather Labelled and dated 'Knoll Group' Set custom ordered with all original materials...
Category

1990s North American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Knoll Barcelona Rare Color Olive Brown Leather Chairs Mies van der Rohe
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in West Hartford, CT
One of the most important and iconic modern chair designs, the Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is as stylish and relevant today as when it was first designed in 1929 for ...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Signed Knoll Barcelona Rare Olive Brown Leather Chair Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in West Hartford, CT
One of the most important and iconic modern chair designs, the Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is as stylish and relevant today as when it was first designed in 1929 for ...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Signed Knoll Barcelona Rare Olive Brown Leather Chair Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in West Hartford, CT
One of the most important and iconic modern chair designs, the Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is as stylish and relevant today as when it was first designed in 1929 for ...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Knoll Barcelona Rare Color Olive Brown Leather Chairs Mies van der Rohe
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in West Hartford, CT
One of the most important and iconic modern chair designs, the Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is as stylish and relevant today as when it was first designed in 1929 for ...
Category

Early 2000s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Knoll Barcelona Chairs Tan Leather 1960s Mies van der Rohe
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Buffalo, NY
Stunning pair of Barcelona chairs manufactured by Knoll, 1960s designed by Mies van der Rohe, Classic design, original hand-sewn tan leather seat and back cushions, wonderful patina,...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Bauhaus Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome

Set of Knoll Associates Barcelona Chairs and Ottomans by Mies van der Rohe, 1961
By Lilly Reich, Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This listing is for a highly sought-after-by-collectors 'Original 1st Generation Production' set of two (2) Triple Signed Knoll Associates Barcelona Chairs with two (2) matching Otto...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Midcentury Barcelona Chair in Special Order Stainless Steel and Leather
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in BROOKLYN, NY
Midcentury Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair for Knoll. The Classic chair that helped define midcentury modernism. This is the highly desirable version produced in non magneti...
Category

Mid-20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Triple Signed Knoll Associates Barcelona Chairs by Mies van der Rohe, circa 1961
By Knoll, Lilly Reich, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This listing is for a highly sought-after-by-collectors pair (2) of Triple Signed 1st-Generation Knoll Associates Barcelona chairs by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, circa 1961 in original...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chairs from the IBM Building
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Highland, IN
Here are some extraordinarily rare chairs with fantastic provenance, these Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs were custom fabricated of fiberglass and steel. You would not know that ...
Category

20th Century American International Style Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Mies Van Der Rohe 1929 Barcelona Chair for Knoll International, Black
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Brooklyn, NY
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 famo...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Cognac Leather Barcelona Chairs by Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Dronten, NL
Exceptional early split frame pair of Barcelona Chairs by Mies Van der Rohe for Knoll International in the most desirable cognac leather. Marked with Knoll International label on th...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Vintage Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair Knoll Brown Saddle Cognac Leather 1961
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Vintage Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair Knoll Brown Saddle Cognac Leather 1961 Knoll Barcelona lounge chair, stainless steel, Mies van der Rohe, circa 1961. Deep chestnut brown or...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Rare Barcelona Chairs by Gerald R. Griffith for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1970
By Gerald R. Griffith, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Costa Mesa, CA
Rare Barcelona chairs by Gerald R. Griffith for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1970. Signed by Gerald Griffith for Mies van der Rohe, 1970. Produced for a short period of time by this Chi...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Steel

Pair of Vintage Brass Barcelona Chairs designed by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Pasadena, TX
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Mies van der Rohe began his career in architecture in Berlin, working as an architect first in the studio of Bruno Paul and then, like Le Corbusier and Wa...
Category

Mid-20th Century North American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Brass

Knoll Stainless Steel Barcelona Chairs designed by Mies van der Rohe
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Nice pair of Barcelona chairs designed by Mies van der Rohe. Design dates from the late 1920s and this stainless steel pair were made by Knoll in the late 1970s. Dark brown chocolate...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Bauhaus Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Rare Pair of Brown Distressed Leather Barcelona Chairs by Mies van der Rohe
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in New York, NY
Elegant pair of Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chairs. The chairs are upholstered in brown leather that has a an exquisite patina.
Category

Vintage 1970s German Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Original Barcelona Chair Design by Mies van der Rohe
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Berlin, DE
The armchair is from the 1960s-1970s. The leather is not in a good state. Barcelona chair "steel frame, chrome-plated, black, quilted leather upholstery, the condition of both armch...
Category

20th Century German Modern Chairs

Materials

Leather

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Pompano Beach, FL
Barcelona chair with signature, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rode. Stainless steel and leather. Rohe signed this chair in 1961.
Category

Vintage 1960s American Lounge Chairs

Materials

Leather

Eggplant Leather Barcelona Chair and Ottoman by Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Boston, MA
Designed in 1929, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chair remains an icon of modernist chair design. This chair and ottoman, later Knoll productions, feature hand-polished premium...
Category

20th Century American Bauhaus Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Barcelona Chairs with Single Ottoman by Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Boston, MA
Designed in 1929, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chair remains an icon of modernist chair design. This pair of chairs and single ottoman, later Knoll productions, feature hand-...
Category

20th Century American Bauhaus Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of "Barcelona" Chair by Mies van der Rohe in Smoked Platinum Velvet
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in New York, NY
One of the most iconic pieces of the 20th century, this pair of Barcelona chairs encapsulates Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's famous maxim "less is more." Van der Rohe originally designed...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Pair of Knoll Barcelona Stainless Steel Lounge Chairs by Mies Van Der Rohe
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Pasadena, TX
Mies van der Rohe began his career in architecture in Berlin, working as an architect first in the studio of Bruno Paul and then, like Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius, Peter Behrens....
Category

Vintage 1980s American Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Stainless Steel

Very Rare Pair of 1947-1954 Production Mies van der Rohe ''Barcelona'' Chairs
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in bergen op zoom, NL
A pair of pre-Knoll production Barcelona chairs These 'screwed' Barcelona chairs where made before Knoll put this chair in production in 1954 Provenance: From a Dutch collectio...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Chrome, Steel

Knoll Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Vintage black leather Knoll International Barcelona chair. Designed by Ludwig Mies vd Rohe in 1928. Good used condition with signs of wear. 1 avaible.
Category

Early 20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Lounge Chairs

Materials

Metal

Museum Quality Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chairs with Table
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Dallas, TX
Someone heavily involved in the Mies catalogue raisonne project has personally confirmed that these chairs are in fact authentic Barcelona chairs manufactured by the German Company, ...
Category

Vintage 1950s German Bauhaus Chairs

Materials

Glass, Leather

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