The Barcelona chair is an iconic piece of furniture in contemporary interior design, and it was first designed in 1929 by two German architects, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich. They were commissioned to design the German Pavilion, an exhibition building for the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain that year. The chair was designed for the Spanish Royal family to use as they toured the Pavilion
After the exposition, the chair became an iconic piece of the Bauhaus and modernist architectural movement and takes its proud place in architect’s homes across the globe. The chair is made from a solid stainless steel or chrome frame, which utilizes a single-piece, curved metal design. The frame is topped with a bovine leather seat and individual solid buttons that are pressed into the leather, in a straight-line pattern. Since 1953, a single company has manufactured the Barcelona chair, although many companies now produce replicas.
Choosing a replica
Barcelona replica chairs are a big market, which can make it difficult to find a good one. There are many replicas that cut corners in the production process by using low-quality materials. This means the chair could be made from PVC or plastic coverings, glue on buttons, and hollow metal frames. Buying an inexpensive replica could leave you with a Barcelona chair replica that lasts for a year or less. Before buying, you should consider the production processes and materials used. Try to find replicas that use real leather and hard buttons, which are pressed into the chair back and base. The frame should use solid metal and where possible, use a single molded piece for the frame. These elements are what make the Barcelona chair iconic, and so must be considered when purchasing a replica Barcelona chair that will last the test of time. The original Barcelona chair is an investment that lasts a lifetime.
Choosing a Barcelona chair with an Ottoman
More recently, the Barcelona chair has been sold with an ottoman. This is a small footstool reminiscent of the Eames chair and stool. It mimics the design of the seat and frame with an identical design. Together, the Barcelona chair and ottoman give a relaxing chair for reading or watching television. The design of the footstool includes the signature one-piece frame and hard seat buttons. When you shop for an original or replica you can choose the ottoman as well giving you a complete set.
In to the modern era
The Barcelona chair has remained at the forefront of Bauhaus and modernist interior design for almost 90 years. During this period, the chair and its design have changed very little. With modern home décor, minimalist or mid-century design remains popular, and the Barcelona chair continues to be an in-demand piece. Its timeless design will leave this iconic chair at the top of designers, architects, and enthusiasts lists for years to come. Choosing this chair for your home will turn heads and will always be a talking point in your home. Whether you choose the original or one of the many high-quality replicas, you will not regret choosing this chair.