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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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Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona daybed
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Los Angeles, CA
iconic Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Daybed. Knoll International Germany, c. 1986. Chrome-plated stainless steel, walnut, and leather. Also available in white leather.
Category

Late 20th Century German Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Chrome

Vintage circa 1985 Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona Daybed with Zebra Rug
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
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

Lettino daybed Knoll International Bercelona Van der Rohe pelle verde
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Milano, MI
Rara versione in pelle verde Bauhaus dell'iconico lettino Barcelona e prodotto da KNOLL. Il lettino è nella versione classica come disegnato disegnato da Miles Van der Rohein 1930....
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Aluminum

Barcelona Daybed in Brown Leather by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, 1980s.
By Knoll, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Eindhoven, Noord Brabant
This iconic Knoll Studio Barcelona daybed was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1930. Just like the Barcelona chair, the daybed is characterized by a high degree of detail. Eac...
Category

Early 20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Leather, Walnut

Cognac Barcelona Daybed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for Knoll, 2000s
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Located in Brussels, BE
Category

Early 2000s Daybeds

Materials

Leather

Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe Bauhaus White Leather Barcelona Daybed for Knoll, 1970s
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Vicenza, IT
Barcelona daybed, designed by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe in 1929 and manufactured by Knoll International in 1972. Made of chromed steel and leather. Excellent vintage condition. The B...
Category

Vintage 1970s Italian Bauhaus Daybeds

Materials

Chrome

Mies Van Der Rohe, Barcelona Daybed, Manufactured by Knoll International, 1970s
By Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Knoll
Located in Wargrave, Berkshire
Barcelona Daybed, designed by Mies van Der Rohe for the German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. The collection of furniture he created was received with g...
Category

Vintage 1970s American Mid-Century Modern Daybeds

Materials

Chrome

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

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