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Barcelona Daybed
Iconic Designs

Barcelona Daybed

About the Design

With its low profile and clean lines, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s (1886–1969) Barcelona daybed (also known as the Pavilion daybed) wholly embodies the minimalist “form follows function” philosophy of the day.

Mies codesigned the daybed as well as a chair by the same name, along with Lilly Reich (1885–1947), his longtime collaborator and wife, in 1929 as part of the German Pavilion (or “Barcelona Pavilion”) at the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. At the time, Mies was already established as a prominent German architect and had recently been named the director of the Bauhaus. His contribution to the exposition was a deliberate choice to reinforce Germany’s pre–World War II status as a progressive nation at the forefront of modern design.

Although many other pavilions at the International Exposition were intended to serve as centers of knowledge and education, full of painting and sculpture to be admired and discussed, Mies saw the Barcelona Pavilion as a respite from the activity surrounding it — a useful building, staged with useful furniture, without pretext. In fact, royals, dignitaries, and other important government officials were set to visit the German Pavilion after the exposition’s inauguration for a party, which meant the furniture took center stage as the group held court.

While there’s no question of Mies’s authorship of the Barcelona daybed and chair, he wasn’t without help. Reich, a German furniture designer in her own right, is often overlooked and uncredited in Mies’s contributions to furniture design, even though it is believed that she assisted him for over 10 years on some of his signature designs.

A year later, the American architect Philip Johnson asked Mies (and Reich) to design and furnish his Manhattan apartment, thus introducing the Barcelona daybed stateside. Later, Johnson used the daybed when he built The Glass House, which is still located in New Canaan, Connecticut. Johnson's structure is a classic of mid-century modern architecture and was inspired by Mies’s Farnsworth House, located in Plano, Illinois, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, angular silhouette and sparse interior. Of course, being low to the ground without a back and a single balustrade as an armrest, the daybed allows for uninterrupted views of both the interior and exterior of the space.

Still in production by Knoll, the original manufacturer, the Barcelona daybed — with its tubular stainless-steel legs and African mahogany wood frame — remains an indelible symbol of mid-century modern design.

Barcelona Daybed

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Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona Daybed Brown Leather, 2017
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Saint ouen, FR
Mies van der Rohe - Barcelona daybed dark brown Knoll edition, circa 2017 Brown leather and ashwood Dimensions: Height 65 cm, large 98, long 196 cm In a perfect state With cert...
Category

2010s European Modern Daybeds

Materials

Leather, Wood

Barcelona Daybed by Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll, Signed
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in North Vancouver, BC
An immaculate example of an iconic piece. The Barcelona daybed forms part of the Mies van Der Rohe series originally designed for the Barcelona Pavilion. As with all of Knoll's furni...
Category

Early 2000s American Modern Daybeds

Materials

Chrome

Vintage Knoll Barcelona daybed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in ABCOUDE, UT
The highly praised Barcelona daybed designed by great designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, 1960s. Completely in original condition, this daybed has obtained a beautiful patin...
Category

Vintage 1960s Daybeds

Materials

Chrome

Barcelona Daybed by Mies Van Der Rohe for Knoll International, 1960s, Signed
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This iconic and authentic (both the leather cushion and the Mahogany frame is signed with Knoll International labels) daybed is the 'Barcelona Daybed' also referred to as the 'Barcelona Couch' by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll International and is considered an 'early original production collectors example' as it is from Knoll's earlier years of producing this design in the 1960s and 1970s before they changed to different manufacturing processes during the 1980s. This example is signed with a Knoll International label that has the 320 Park Ave address and is dated on the back of the label July 9, 1975. To determine the estimated production year we note that the date most likely corresponds to the retailer or possibly the Knoll sold/ ship date. The address of 320 Park Ave changed to Fifth Ave in 1970 and Knoll Associates did not become Knoll International until 1968. Therefore we would pinpoint the production year to be between 1968 and 1970. It is possible that it was slightly after 1970 that this example was produced as it is believed that Knoll continued to use labels with the older 320 Park Ave for several months to a couple years after changing addresses, however generally speaking 1970s examples will be labelled with their Fifth Ave address. All construction details also indicate a 1st-Generation 'original' production by Knoll as their production did not change throughout the Knoll Associates years and through the first half of the Knoll International years. This rare original 1st-Generation 'Barcelona Daybed' features its original brown leather upholstery with subtle patina and wear throughout. These traces of age and use bring more vibrancy to the leather, giving this piece an on-trend lightly distressed look. The original bolster pillow in matching brown leather is secured to the cushion and platform via straps and lock snaps. The platform is crafted from stained Mahogany and supported by polished tubular stainless steel legs and the original leather straps are all in-tact. Both the cushion is labelled and the platform frame as well with a partial Knoll International sticker label as can be seen in the photo gallery. Considered to be the epitome of modern design, Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich originally designed the Barcelona chair in 1929 to serve as seating for the king and queen of Spain in the German Pavilion. This was Germany's entry for the International Exhibition, hosted by Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Designed in 1930 the Barcelona daybed (also referred to as the Barcelona Couch) emanates this seminal design, paralleling the same simplicity and elegance of the iconic Barcelona chair. This Barcelona couch by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll International is ideal for a living room, family room, study, den or lounge. It would also be an Apt choice in a corporate, retail or hospitality location such as a boutique hotel lobby, cocktail bar, members club, workspace studio, executive office or in a retail boutique...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Stainless Steel

Brown Leather Barcelona Daybed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, for Knoll
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Antwerp, BE
Iconic original brown leather patchwork daybed designed by Mies van der Rohe, produced by Knoll in the 1960s. Beautiful patina and very good quality l...
Category

Vintage 1960s German Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Chrome, Metal

America Midcentury Brown Leather Brno 255 Chair by Mies Van Der Rohe Knoll, 1970s
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in MIlano, IT
Italian mid-century brown leather Brno 255 chair by Mies Van der Rohe for Knoll, 1970s Brno 255 chair with square seat and back upholstered in red-brown leat...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Chairs

Materials

Steel

Bordeaux Leather Barcelona Daybed by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Renens, CH
Leather daybed designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe during the late 1920s. This piece was originally designed for use in the German Pavilion during the 1929 International Expositi...
Category

Early 20th Century Italian Modern Daybeds

Materials

Metal

Vintage circa 1985 Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona Daybed with Zebra Rug
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in SAINT LOUIS, MO
We collected this cult-favorite, vintage Mies Van Der Rohe daybed at auction. The stainless steel legs, walnut base, and black leather upholstery are all in excellent condition. See ...
Category

Vintage 1980s Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Leather, Zebra Hide

Barcelona Daybed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, Cognac Leather
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Brussels, BE
Barcelona daybed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, cognac leather.
Category

Vintage 1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Leather

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