|Ludwig Mies van der Rohe|
Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929 the Barcelona Chair is one of - if not the - most iconic and recognised pieces of furniture of the 20th century. It has permeated popular culture and has an aesthetic that bridges the classical and the contemporary. Designed and crafted as part of Mies van der Rohe’s design entry to the German Pavilion for the Barcelona Industrial Exposition in 1929. From the hand-buffed steel frame to the individual leather squares carefully welted together, the Barcelona Chair by Knoll is a singular modern lounge chair merging modern design and exceptional craftsmanship.Read more »
“Less is more”
Perhaps no other name in design is more inextricably linked to the Modernist movement than that of Mies van der Rohe (born Maria Ludwig Michael Mies). Mies, as he is known, started his career as a tradesman’s son in his father’s stone-carving workshop in Aachen, Germany He had no formal training, which makes his phenomenal accomplishments all the more astonishing. Leaving his homeland in 1937, Mies settled in Chicago. He would go on to become one of the leading figures in American architecture.
Mies became director of the architecture department at Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology (now Illinois Institute of Technology), and was tasked with transforming the institute’s campus. This commission would ultimately lead to the design and construction of what became Chicago’s stately Crown Hall - widely considered his American masterpiece. More projects followed, including the Fansworth House and the Seagram Building. These would help ensure his place amongst modern architecture's most revered names.
Mies, often in collaboration with Lilly Reich, also designed modern furniture pieces using new industrial technologies that have become popular classics, such as the Barcelona chair and table, the Brno chair, and the Tugendhat chair. His furniture is known for fine craftsmanship, a mix of traditional luxurious fabrics like leather combined with modern chrome frames, and a distinct separation of the supporting structure and the supported surfaces, often employing cantilevers to enhance the feeling of lightness created by delicate structural frames.
Mies van der Rohe died in his adopted home of Chicago, Illinois on August 17, 1969. He was 83 years old. Read more »