One of the pioneers of Modernism and the Mid Century Modern, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has in its pocket creations like the Barcelona Chair and the Barcelona Daybed, all part of the Barcelona Collection. Architect of definitive works of the modern urban landscape of Chicago, like the Seagram Buiding and the IBM Plaza, van der Rohe coined several quotes that had a profound impact in the Architecture and reached even the popular mainstream, like “Less is more” or “God is in the details”. Born in what was prior known as Aquisgran, Prusiam in 1886, he died in Chicago Illinois as an American Citizen with a brand new name, as we’ll see forward.
You may not notice it, but the influence of L. Mies van der Rohe is all over the place. Maybe, all you have to do is look around near the downtown of your city. Skyscrapers and modern buildings today are a very familiar landscape in many cities around the world, but at the beginnings of the XXth Century, this often squared, sharp buildings, were a completely radical change of the urban views. And changes were great outdoors, but indoors, too. The minimalist, ornament free movement developed by van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, among others, delivered big changes in the Interior Design and furniture world. The Barcelona Collection, one of the most influential lines of furniture in the XX Century, is one fine example of this.
Let’s make some comments about the interesting life of L. Mies van der Rohe:
A more suitable name.
Born originally as Maria Ludwig Michael Mies, van der Rohe made a significant change in its name, by taking the Mother’s name “Rohe” and the terms “van der”, a dutch translate for the original german “von der”. This way, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has a much more noble sound. It was a common practice for the members of the Modernism movement to adopt artistic names, just like The Corbusier.
A man-made by itself.
Van der Rohe didn’t receive any formal education in its life. All its formation was as an apprentice for several design houses in its natal Germany. As a boy, he worked at his father’s stone carving shop. In his days of fame, he became head of the Illinois Institute of Technology, by that time named as Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology
He is famous for its aphorisms.
Very fond of this particular way of expressing ideas, van der Rohe has many famous quotes. “Less is more”; “God is in the details” among the most quoted.
He was in Playboy magazine.
In a time when the revolution in architecture was in its zenith, people like van der Rohe and other fine architects used to appear in Playboy magazine (Dressed, worth the clarification).
He married once.
Adele August Bruhn, the daughter of a wealthy industrial, was the spouse of van der Rohe. They married in Berlin, in 1913, but the marriage ended in 1918. They had 3 children. Apart from that, van der Rohe never married again but had some several stable relationships with Lilly Reich in Berlin, and with Lora Marx in America, who was his longest relationship.
Did van der Rohe created different chairs apart from the Barcelona Chair?
The Brno Chair and the MR Chair were designed from 1927 to 1929, by L. Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Roche, with the collaboration of Sergius Ruegenberg. They both had the same concept with some notable variations but always looking for the same purpose: A modern chair that transcends the classical four legs scheme.
On the other hand, the Brno Chair was originally made for the Tugendhat Residence in Brno, Czech Republic. While it keeps the “C Frame” as structure, it has some variations, as its arms are the upper side of the frame, and the seat is solid. Upholstered in leather, there are two versions of this chair: With tubular stainless steel and with flat stainless steel or chrome-plated steel. The Brno Chair is known too as the MR50 Chair, and there is a later, most elaborated version named MR70, with a more structure back seat, while keeping the same principles.
The Barcelona Collection and the Barcelona Chair
Often called the “Van der Rohe Collection”, the Barcelona Collection consolidates all the pieces of furniture made by the German designer in the International Exposition of Barcelona in 1928. It’s fair to say that this collection was a team effort, where the German designer Lilly Roche had a great part. In the Barcelona Collection, besides the chair, there is a Loveseat, a Sofa, a Bench (three models), an Ottoman, and a Table.
But the Barcelona Chair is the central piece of the group, and the rest of the elements are elicited from the chair, in its forms, shapes, and overall design.
The Barcelona Collection can be considered as a whole set up of decor or individually. As a whole set up, you can decorate a complete living room, using recurring to one Barcelona Chair, one Barcelona Loveseat, one Barcelona Sofa, the Barcelona Ottoman, and a Barcelona Table. Of course, the decor combination possibilities in one room are endless, and endless are the possible combinations of the Barcelona Collection in a decor.
If you want to experience the beauty and functionality of Barcelona Collection, one of the greatest creations of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, don’t miss the opportunity and go to Barcelona Designs, the best Online store in the replica’s market, where you can get a piece of design of high quality at really affordable prices.