Barcelona® Relax

Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The Barcelona chair is a perfect design and strong visual statement. It has become the ultimate and timeless image of elegance and comfort. A careful study of the potential for even softer upholstery and a new collection of “full grain” leathers, softer to the touch and capable of ageing gracefully have contributed to give a greater residential feel to what remains the undisputed ‘monument’ of the international history of design.

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Barcelona Relax
  • Barcelona® Relax
  • Barcelona® Relax
  • Barcelona® Relax 3 B
  • Barcelona® Relax
  • Barcelona® Relax
  • Barcelona® Relax
  • Barcelona® Relax

Details

FEATURES

A signature KnollStudio design, produced to Mies' original specifications.
Exclusive manufacturing and sales rights were accorded to Knoll by the designer in 1953.
The KnollStudio logo and the signature of Mies van der Rohe are stamped into the base of each chair.

 

CONSTRUCTION

Polished chrome structure hand-buffed and hand-finished to a mirror finish. 40 individual panels for the chair and 16 for the stool are cut hand-welted, and hand-tufted with leather and buttons produced from a single cowhide. Cushions are premium quality fire retardant, high resilient urethane foam with down like dacron polyester fibrefill. The seat and the back of the Barcelona chair are connected with a removable pin. Side and edges of upholstery straps are dyed to match specified upholstery colour.

 

FINISHES

The cushions are in leather and the frame is in polished chrome.

 

AWARDS

Museum of Modern Art Award, 1977

Dimensions

 

BARCELONA RELAX

Chair 75cm W x 77cm D x 77cm h
Stool 59cm W x 59.5cm D x 39cm h


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Product Story image

As a rising figure of the modernist movement, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was selected to design the Weimar Republic’s Pavilion for the Barcelona Industrial Exposition of 1929.

Through masterful proportioning and planning, Mies created a rhythmic and entirely unprecedented space, which elevated industrial-age materials to a level of grace never before achieved. Inside, Mies included chairs and stools conceived as a resting place for the King and Queen of Spain. Determined to create a chair worthy of royalty, Mies is thought to have based the designs, with their signature criss-cross frames, on the campaign chairs of Ancient Rome. Mies: “I feel that it must be possible to harmonise the old and new in our civilisation.”

Although the Barcelona Pavilion only stood for seven months, it is recognised as a defining achievement of modern architecture, as are the accompanying Barcelona Chairs (although the King and Queen reportedly never sat in them).

Mies, a close friend and mentor to Florence Knoll during her time at the Illinois Institute of Technology, formally granted Knoll the production rights to the Barcelona Chair and Stool in 1953. The designs immediately became a signature of the Knoll brand and have been built to Mies van der Rohe’s exacting standards ever since.

Discover the story of the Barcelona Chair

Designer image

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began his career working in his father's stonemasonry business. After an apprenticeship with furniture designer Bruno Paul in Berlin, he joined the office of architect Peter Behrens, whose work presaged the modern movement. In 1912, Mies established his own office in Berlin, and later became a member of the Deutscher Werkbund and Director of the Bauhaus.

He immigrated to the United States in 1938, setting up a practice in Chicago. His buildings include the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona Exposition, the Tugendhat Villa in Brno, Czechoslovakia, the Seagram Building, designed with Philip Johnson, a cluster of residential towers along Chicago's Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, and the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, where he was the director of architecture.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886 - 1969) Birthplace Germany