Mies Van Der Rohe Furniture

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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The majority of Mies van der Rohe furniture that is still being manufactured today is related to the Barcelona series, a set of furniture that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed for the 1928 World Exposition. The exposition, which was held in Barcelona that year, was to showcase modern achievement in a variety of fields, including architecture and design. Along with the Barcelona series, Mies created an entire pavilion for the six months that the exhibition would be open to the public.

Until 1929, Mies van der Rohe's explorations into the realm of furniture design had produced strictly modern works, often using new materials such as tubular steel and incorporating the clean design strategies that he was famous for. The Barcelona series of Mies van der Rohe furniture gave Mies a chance to create a slightly different look: all of the furniture, along with the pavilion, was to house the reception for the Exposition, including a ceremony that was to be presided over by the King and Queen of Spain. This challenged Mies to develop a more rich approach for the Barcelona series.

The result is Mies van der Rohe furniture at its most luxurious. The deep black pads and sweeping steel of the chairs at once embrace all of the tenets of modernism and point to the comfort of royalty. The chairs, daybed, ottoman, and tables that Mies designed for the pavilion, though they are meant to be eventually mass-produced, do not shy away from the luxury of the upper class. They provide a bridge for the citizens of the modern world, a doorway into modern living through design.

Other Examples of Mies van der Rohe Furniture

Other pieces of Mies van der Rohe furniture that are still in production include his Brno chair from 1930. Designed for the Tugendhat house in (what is now) the Czech Republic, the Brno chair is perhaps the most "Miesian" design of all of his chairs: two simple, comfortable black leather pads intersect over a foundation of cantilevered steel. The Brno chair is currently available in a few different color schemes, and in tubular steel and flat steel versions.

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