The Sequence of Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona: the German Pavilion as Part of a much Larger Industrial Presence
Laura Martinez De Guereñu

The German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition was part of a much larger exhibiting sequence, which Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich constructed following their main undertaking in the Barcelona industrial exhibits: to design the entire German section. By the time Mies van der Rohe started the project of the German Pavilion, he had already been working for more than 4 months on the construction of the identity and representation of the strength of the German industrial fabric, which he would architecturally express in the interior design of 8 neoclassical palaces. Hence, the two most innovative architectural elements of the German Pavilion – the milky color double-glazed wall and the chrome-plated cross-shaped posts – can be traced back to the interiors of these palaces. The 16,000 m2 of industrial exhibits, not reconstructed in 1986, form today the immaterial heritage that underpins the historical relevance of the Barcelona Pavilion. 3 documents, including a sequence from the official exhibition film, preserve the order linking the range of Mies van der Rohe’s work in Barcelona and broaden the historical meaning of one of the most important works of architectural modernism.

Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Mies van der Rohe, International Style, Rehabilitation of modern architecture, German Pavilion, Barcelona Pavilion, Modern architecture exhibition.

Issue 56
Year 2017
Pages 56-63

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