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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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Barcelona Daybed by Mies van der Rohe
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Meulebeke, BE
Iconic Barcelona daybed designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1930. Made in a Mahogany frame with chrome metal feet. The cushion is made of 72 individual panels are cut, hand-welted and...
Category

2010s American Mid-Century Modern 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 'Barcel...
Category

Vintage 1960s American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Stainless Steel

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

Bordeaux Leather Barcelona Daybed by Mies van der Rohe for Knoll
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
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

Barcelona Daybed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe for Knoll in Black Leather
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in East Hampton, NY
Black leather daybed designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe during the late 1920s with Roll pillow that straps to the bed cushion. This piece was originally designed for use in the ...
Category

1990s American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Chrome

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

Black Leather Daybed Model "Barcelona" by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Brussels, BE
Black leather daybed model "Barcelona" by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll.
Category

Early 2000s Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Leather

1970s Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona Daybed Couch for Knoll Rosewood / Tan Leather
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in St.Petersburg, FL
A great example of the timeless Barcelona couch Daybed designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll and produced in the 1970s . This example with rosewood frame and the original ta...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Steel, Chrome