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German Pavilion (Barcelona Pavilion)

German Pavilion (Barcelona Pavilion)

Miles Van Der Rohe
Barcelona, Spain
Project Year
Valentina Marchant

German Pavilion (Barcelona Pavilion) by Mies Van Der Rohe

Valentina Marchant – Architectural Photography as Photographers

The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe and one of his best-known works, was the Pavilion that Germany was presented at the international exhibition held in Barcelona the year 1929 and represented the presentation to the world of the modern architectural movement. It was designed to host the official reception presided over by King Alfonso XIII along with the German authorities.

Originally called German Pavilion, later renamed Barcelona Pavilion, was the card of presentation of Germany after World War II, emulating the progress within the modern culture of a nation that still had its roots in classic story. Its elegant design combined with rich natural materials served Mies as a bridge towards his professional future within the architectural modernism.

The Pavilion, along with works such as the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius and the Villa Savoye, by Le Corbusier, is one of the core buildings of modern architecture. It was dismantled at the end of the exhibition, 1930, but over time this work became a key referent for the history of the architecture of the 20th century, as well as for the path, that’s why in 1980, and driven by the catalan architect Oriol Bohigas, began to take shape in the Council the idea of reconstructing the building in its original location. Work began in 1983 and the new building opened in 1986.

Large glass surfaces were used for the reconstruction of the Pavilion, steel of high content of chromium, reinforced concrete, stone and four different types of marble, Roman travertine, green alpine marble, antique Greece green marble and Onyx doré of the Atlas mountains in Africa, all of them with the same characteristics and origin than those used originally by Mies in 1929. The stunning piece of Onyx gold placed in the main space notably urged construction, becoming the focus of attention for visitors, not only by its size and thickness, also by its colour and drawing.

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