Manhattan Home Design

5 Things You Didnít Know About the Exposition Chair

05/04/2016 Manhattan Home Design
The Exposition Chair, also called the Barcelona Chair replica is one of the best chairs in its kind, a prime example of mid-century modernism. With its utilization of genuine tufted leather and gleaming stainless steel, the Barcelona chair replica is an absolute must for the modern home or indoor space. This lounge chair has a notable history, having represented the German Pavilion and the country of Germany at the 1929 International Exposition held in Barcelona. This was the 2nd Worldís fair, purposed at improving architecture and design for urban development. Besides bearing a noble history and a lush aesthetic, the Barcelona chair has less-known facts that are nonetheless enthralling. They could also potentially show why this chair is so coveted and revered in the design sphere.

1. It was Designed for the Spanish Royalty to Sit While Checking Out the German Pavilion

If there was no German Pavilion, there may not have been a Barcelona chair. The German Pavilion was the Pavilion that designer Mies van der Rohe designed for the 1929 International Exposition. Since the Exposition was held in Barcelona, this pavilion is also dubbed the Barcelona Pavilion. This Pavilion represented Germany and was the countryís main architectural design in the Exposition, not the Barcelona Chair itself. The need to design a chair came secondarily, since the Spanish royalty were set to browse the Pavilion. Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona Chair for the Spanish King and Queen just in case they would be exhausted from walking in his impressive pavilion.

2. The Barcelona Chair has its own Page in the Barcelona Yellow Pages

The influence of the Exposition chair is far-reaching, but it also returns to its roots. Despite representing German craftsmanship and Germany as a whole in the Exposition, the Barcelona Chair has firmly etched its mark in Barcelona, where its legacy began. Besides carrying its most known attribute as an exemplar of midcentury modernism, the Barcelona Chair is an emblem of both German and Spanish culture. Having an entire page dedicated to solely the Barcelona Chair, it has achieved a kind of landmark status, despite being a piece of furniture!

3. Itís Been the Star of a TV Episode

Another marker of its monumental influence across the globe, the Barcelona Chair has gotten a starring role on an episode of Design Classics. This television show aired in the United Kingdom and followed a documentary-style programming. Although created in 1929 and having made news and headlines in the midcentury, the Barcelona Chair continued its waves of success in the late 20th century and onwards; this show was just one of the chairs pop culture cameos. However, unlike forthcoming TV and film appearances, including a lot of contemporary ones, this show dedicated an entire episode about the Barcelona Chair, accentuating the chairís star-power.

4. It Led to Mies van der Rohe Promotion of Directing the Bauhaus School

The Barcelona Chair was created in 1929, and itís no coincidence that a year later, Mies van der Rohe, one of the chairís creators was promoted to director of the groundbreaking Bauhaus School. The Bauhaus School was a physical school in Germany that changed locations trice, but it is mainly regarded as having spearheaded the Bauhaus movement, which fused arts and crafts and functionality in design. Although Mies taught at the school before, the Barcelona Cahir was surely the finishing touch that proved to founder Walter Gropious of van der Roheís design capabilities.

5. Its Design Credits have been a Source of Controversy

The Barcelona Chair is not without its dose of controversy. Although its design is most widely credited to German-American architect and furniture designer Mies van der Rohe, he was not fully responsible for bringing the Barcelona Chair to life. The Barcelona Chair is the product of his and his then lover, Lily Reichís innovation. However, there has been speculation over how much of the chair Mies van der Rohe created. Lily Reich was a German architect and designer who started working within the traditional confines of women in the workplace: as a designer of womenís clothes and textiles. She later joined Deutsch Werkbund Ė a modernist design organization that preceded the Bauhaus movement where she met Mies, which sparked their longromance and design collaborations. She was regarded as detailed and as good a designer as Mies. Critics argue that all of Mies successful furniture designs were created with Lilly, as he had no successful furniture before having met her or after leaving her for America. The Barcelona Chair is one of the designs that Lily was sub-credited for, though her expertise and execution led many to believe she was more responsible for the chair than was Mies.
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