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Barcelona Chair History

By Author: rorbertallice
Total Articles: 7

The Barcelona chair was originally designed by Lilly Reich and Ludwig Miles van der Rohe for German pavilion which was the country’s entry for 1929 International Exposition. Its first usage was in Villa Tugendhat. Its frame was designed initially for being bolted together; however in 1950; it was again redesigned using stainless steel. The new design employed a seamless metal piece for making the frame, thus offering it a more smoother appearance. Ivory colored pigskin was that was used in the original pieces was also replaced by bovine leather.

The Barcelona chairs were manufactured in Europe and the US in limited productions from 1930s to 1950s. Six years after the death of Reich in 1956, his rights along with his name on the Knoll design were ceded by van der Rohe, as Reich’s design patents were expired. After this collaboration, the design popularity was renewed again. Currently, Knoll claims to be the holder of trademark rights and the licensed manufacturer of the design. He had purchased trademark rights from Drexel in the year 1965. He received the trade dress rights from the US Patent Trademark office in 2004. However, in spite of the trademarks, a huge replica market still continues.

Being inspired from the Romans and the Pharaohs, the legendary chair marked as a milestone in the furniture design arena. The typical 1920s chairs were sophisticated, classy, luxurious in style and utterly glamorous and elegant in design. Reich and Mies strayed from the customary style and introduced minimalist, clean lines with a perfectly balanced blend of rationality and creativity. The frame exists in two separate configurations, stainless and chrome. It is completely almost hand labored and Ludwig Mies’s signature has been stamped onto each chair. The reproductions proliferate worldwide these days and are sold all over under various marketing names.

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