The Barcelona chair is an internationally praised chair, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. These were designed particularly for the German Pavilion, for their entry for the International Exposition of 1929, which was hosted by Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona chairs are also known as Pavilion chairs, Exposition chairs and X-chairs.
Transposing an ancient and regal design chair into a modern setting, the designers enjoyed instant praise. The chair was suits perfectly in the environment of the Pavilion. Royal visitors, did not actually liked or enjoyed this newly designed seating accommodation, but the chair quickly attained the reputation of being “a design worthy of kings”
The frame was designed to be joined together using bolts, but was redesigned in 1950 using stainless steel alloy metal, which turns the frame to be formed by a seamless piece of metal, giving the chair a smoother appearance. Earlier the ivory-colored pigskin was used for the original pieces now replaced Bovine leather.
The functional design and elements of it that were patented by Mies in Germany, Spain and the United States in the 1930s have since expired. The Barcelona chair was manufactured in the US and Europe in limited production from the 1930s to 1950s. In 1953, six years after Reich’s death, van der Rohe ceded his rights and his name on the design to Knoll, knowing that his design patents were expired. This collaboration again maintained the popularity in the design.
Knoll claims to be the current licensed holder and manufacturer of all the trademark rights of the design. In 2004, Knoll received trademark rights to the design from the U.S.- Patent and Trademark Office. Despite these trademarks, a large replica construction market of this product continues. The Gordon International New York has continued manufacturing the designs since the 1970s, even the court cases are there against Knoll in 2005. Recently in 2011, another court battle started between Knoll and RegencyShop.com and result is still not announced.
This chair was designed for the Spanish Royalty seating area for the opening ceremonies of the exhibition. The form is thought to be derived from Roman folding chairs known as the Curule chair (the chair upon which senior magistrates or pro magistrates owning imperial were entitled to sit) and the upholstered stools. It is also used by Roman aristocracy. The appearance of the Barcelona chair is highly commercial but most of the work done on this chair is handwork. Besides the Barcelona chairs Barcelona Sofas are also available having two or three seats.