The Barcelona Pavilion was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as the German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. The only function it was used for was the official opening, by King Alfons XIII and Victoria Eugenia, hosted by the German Ambassador. Its simplicity and purity, as well as its absolute modernity inspired legions of succeeding architects. The building wasn't for containing exhibitions, it is itself the exhibit.
The building consists of vertical planes of marble interspersed with metal framed glass and 8 chromed steel pillars supporting a flat roof. The floor plan is asymmetric and is arranged into flowing 'rooms', maximising spatial continuity. The structure recalls classical temples, but is also uncompromisingly modern, it doesn't really enclose space, but channels it. The exterior wall extends into the courtyard, surrounding a shallow pool with a glass floor, which maximises the reflective effect. This has the function of connecting the structure to the wider world, and at the same time, contrasting it.
The space it created was unlike anything else ever seen, every way you turned, a new space confronted you, composed like a work of art. Something like walking inside a Piet Mondrian painting, geometry surrounds you. It is, quite simply, an architectural jewel.
There is no decoration or embellishment, only richness in material. The most luxurious materials were chosen, the external walls were Tinian marble, the inside, Onyx, as well as accents of Travertine. The chromed, fluted pillars seem to disappear. The only furnishings were a classical statue of a nude located in the rear pool ('Morning' by Georg Kolbe, 1925), and the Barcelona Chairs and stools which Mies designed specifically for the pavilion.
The original pavilion was dismantled after the exhibition in 1930, but a replica was constructed by Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos and was opened in 1986.
The Barcelona Pavilion can be visited from 10:00 to 20:00 every day including holidays.
Pavello´ Mies van der Rohe,
Av. Marques de Camillas s/n,
T: + 34 93 423 40 16
F: + 34 93 426 37 72