As you probably know by now, the Barcelona chair is part of a wider collection of items, a concept in modern design that stems from the collective vision presented by Lilly Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. There is a Barcelona daybed and a Barcelona couch, and all of them combined form the ubiquitous Barcelona collection. Here’s 4 things you might or might not know about this conglomerate:
- The people who were meant to use it for the first time actually never did
The whole idea of getting the Barcelona collection out there had to do with presenting it at a luxury gala in the German Pavilion of the Barcelona exposition. The chair was very popular but the people who were meant to sit on them (for a photo) actually never did. They were the King and Queen of Spain, and it’s not like they didn’t like the chair, they just didn’t get the chance to use it.
- There is a glass table that completes the set
The Barcelona table is a perfectly balanced glass square that sits upon an X-shaped metal base.
Extremely minimal and completely in tone with the other items in the collection, it usually gets forgotten pretty quickly. Maybe if they had upholstered the table in black leather somebody would’ve bought it as well (bad joke, I know).
- The original Knoll collection lists 4 items only
The Barcelona “style” is the backbone of many contemporary designs, and sometimes designers just put “Barcelona” in front of their products to make them more appealing.
However, the actual collection is comprised of 4 items: the chair, the Barcelona stool (what everyone refers to as “the ottoman”), the aforementioned glass table, and the Barcelona couch (which most people call a daybed).
- The Barcelona sofa actually doesn’t really exist
A lot of people have seen the “Barcelona sofa,” which is like the chair but longer, like two chairs stuck together. Most people call it a 3-seat couch, and the truth is that four people might be too much for it.
But the Barcelona sofa is not considered original anymore. Knoll doesn’t list it, even though most replica retailers do. The real couch, as we say before, is actually the daybed, a term inherited from a Lilly Reich.