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  • Writer's pictureMaria Shevchenko

Barcelona Pavillion

If you want to forecast the future, look to the past. Everything has already happened once. Even if details differ, the main rules remain still. 

Historically major real estate projects all have fundamental ideological, social and cultural basics. 

Check the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, that used to be the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain.

Commissioned by German government it was a political statement after the WWI. Weinmar Republic wished to present itself as democratic and progressive. It signified a new era of Modernism architecture and design, that stays valid til now. 

Look to the absence of furnishing. Chromed-Steel and Leather "Barcelona" chairs were used to host the opening reception of the Fair for the King Alfonso XIII and the Queen of Spain and were presented as thrones in white pigskin leather. The Barcelona chairs have become hugely popular and iconic and are still in production. 

There is something almost magical that the layout of the project was inspired by painting. Deep irony is seen in the name of the painting "Rhythm of a Russian Dance" of Theo van Doesburg as the German government democratisation tool.

And last but not least. The sculpture "Alba" by Georg Kolbe as a cherry on a cake - levels of significance of building and sculpture are very controversial: was the sculpture created to garnish the space or the building is just a frame for the sculpture?

Barcelona Pavilion is not just a building. It is a timeless space with a soul, history and statement permeated with fine art.

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