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Whenever we talk about the Barcelona Collection, among the many masterpieces that make it up, a couple of famous phrases coming up to our minds: The genius of  Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the principles of Modernism, the collaboration with the German designer Lily Reich…And the International Exposition of Barcelona in 1928. 
The International Exposition of Barcelona was a pivotal moment for Modernism, it gave the movement a place and a showroom to make the world of architecture witness the revolutionary changes that Modernism bring into the 1920s. This was the place when the Barcelona Collection was released, and from there requested and manufactured by many décor enthusiasts all over the world, almost without interruption to this day. 
This was the occasion for Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to rise in the world of Architecture and to be considered as one of the most influential Modernists. His legacy, not only in the German Pavilion, the Barcelona Collection, but the German Electricity Supply Pavilion among other works, both in Architecture and Interior Design, was just beginning, but with a outstanding solid feet. Van der Rohe at that time had 42 years old, and it was in the middle of a longlive and prolific career. 
Let’s take a look at what was this International Exposition 

What was the Barcelona International Exposition of 1928?

The first Universal Exposition was held in Barcelona, in 1988, so the 1929 Exposition was not the first international fair to be held in Barcelona.

This fair had been proposed by Catalan architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch as early as 1905, but the onset of World War I and other political and economic factors delayed the project; construction on the new site did not properly begin until 1917. One of the main challenges of the exhibition was to find a site large enough to accommodate it, as it would require at least 110 hectares of land for development. Eventually, the organisers settled on Montjuïc hill as the new home of the exhibition – a move which entailed the resettling of some of the local population.
The Barcelona International Exposition has some public spaces, a group of International Pavilions with the Official Sections, and a group of Private Pavilions, among other specials Pavilions.

Public spaces of the Barcelona International Exposition

The Exposition Center

The Plaza d’ Espanya

The Magic Fountain

The Convention Center held the official sections. They were:

The Communications and Transport Centre

The Clothing Centre

The Centre for Metallurgy, Electricity and Motive Force

The Centre for Textile Arts

The Projection Centre

The Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia Centres

The Palau Nacional (The National Palace)

The City of Barcelona Pavilion

The Press Centre

The Centre for Decorative and Applied Arts

The Graphical Arts Centre

The Centre of Agriculture

The Spanish Pavilion

The Delegation Centre

The Chemistry Centre

The Royal Pavilion

The Centre for Modern Art

The Centre of Missions

The Southern Palace

The International Pavilions
German Pavilion

Belgian Pavilion

Danish Pavilion

French Pavilion

Hungarian Pavilion

Italian Pavilion

Norwegian Pavilion

Serbian, Croatian and Slovene Pavilion

Romanian Pavilion

Swedish Pavilion

The Private Pavilions

Pavilion of the Barcelona Bank Savings and Pensions

Pavilion of the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas

Pavilion of the Barcelona Bank Savings and Pensions

Pavilion of the Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas 

German Electricity Supply Pavilion (Electric Supplies Co.)

Can Jorba

Pavilion of the Hydrographic Confederation of Ebro

Pavilion of the Hispano-Suiza Company

Artists’ Gathering Pavilion

Apart from the Pavilions and the Official Sections, the International Expositions of Barcelona held some special sections, like the Teatre Grec (The Greek Theatre), the Estadi Olimpic (The Olympic Stadium);  and the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Town).
The Barcelona Collection was showed in the German Pavilion, designed by L. Mies van der Rohe with the collaboration of Lilly Reich. Because of its simplicity and revolutionary style was considered a hallmark of its time. It was demolished after the Exposition, and rebuilded in 1985, by Cristian Cirici, following the original Design by van der Rohe. 

What was the Barcelona Collection?

Formed by the iconic Barcelona Chair, Barcelona Sofa, Barcelona Loveseat, and by the Barcelona Ottoman and Barcelona Table, the Barcelona Collection was an authentic breakthrough in the world of design back in 1929. Nevertheless, someone may say that the principles accepted in 1929 for a good design have changed since then. But according to the prolonged success and growing popularity of this pieces in the world of furniture even today, the universality if this principles is still relevant. What are these principles?

  1. Functionality over design. The whole structure of a good design is directed to solve a problem or necessity. Le Corbusier, an outstanding Mid Century Modern Designer, used to say that good furniture should function like an natural extension of the human body, so the shapes and textures have to be natural and harmonic too.
  2. Minimal ornament. As a direct consequence of the previous principle, ornaments are no relevant in a very good design. This was a point of hard confrontation with the classical order, where ornaments where considered an important aspect in any design. 
  3. Experimental materials. Another point of rupture with the past, the criteria to choose good materials whether for a building or a piece of furniture, has to be its convenience, cost and beauty, in that order, and not otherwise. Exotic materials. luxury fabrics weren’t welcomed. This is why Mid Century Modern is associated with industrial materials and textures.

Don’t miss the opportunity to have an experience of high class furniture. Barcelona Designs is the leading store of replicas for Mid Century Modern Style, like the Barcelona Daybed and so much more.