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Step Into 1929 Barcelona

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Here’s a nice history lesson, courtesy of Stone Care. 

In 1929, Barcelona held an International Exposition. In it, renown designer Ludvig Mies van der Rohe designed a stunning German pavilion. Within the pavilion, guests didn’t find attractions or exhibits. Its minimalist design was meant to transform guests into a “zone of tranquility.” The overall expo was a hustle and bustle of activity but at the German pavilion, spectators could take a breath of fresh air and bask in minimalist serenity. Sadly, the German government wasn’t able to sell the pavilion so it met its bulldozed end in early 1930.

Thirty years later at the height of the 1960s, nostalgia for the pavilion was ushered in among critics and architects. They realized the architectural value of such a place and demanded that it be rebuilt. 

Among it’s stunning features are that of marble, granite and travertine. Miehs made a choice to utilize high-quality slabs of stone like: Tinos verde antico marble, olden onyx, and tinted glass of grey, green, white, as well as translucent glass. 

When the reconstruction began, architects wanted to recreate the stone magic of the past using the same materials. Examining black and white photos, these architects tried to totally recreate the past. It became a permanent structure between 1983 and 1986. They certainly pulled it off. 

Mies was all about abstraction, echoing the writings of philosophers and free thinkers within his architecture. The perfect example of this abstract way of thinking is that of the Barcelona chair which was made for the pavilion. The chair evoked Roman folding chairs of the past, used by Roman aristocrats. This chair was referred to as “a design worthy of kings.”

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