The Barcelona Chair is an exclusive chair design meant originally for the German Pavilion. It was designed as the entry for Germany into the International Exposition in 1929, an event which was hosted in Barcelona, Spain. The design for the Barcelona Chair came from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, his companion and partner in design and architecture. The chair quickly became an icon renowned for its modern conception and design, inspired by the folding chairs associated with ancient time periods.
The chair reflects the quality, promotion, and evolution of the German design industry which started to change in 1912. The chair was important because Lilly Reich as the first female member of the organization which was responsible for designing international furniture exhibitions. The designs for Deutcher Wekbund and the Barcelona Chair reflect the longstanding collaborations between Reich and can der Roche whose combined contributions offer a poignant and particular reflection in the world of modern classic chairs.
After van der Rohe moved to the United States, ending his partnership with Reich, he stopped producing furniture designs. Mies van der Rohe initiated his first furniture patent in 1927 and his last in 1937, never creating before or after Reich. It was because of their work ethic and ability to create such astounding designs that they were selected to design the German Pavilion for the event in Barcelona. The ancient designs incorporated into the Barcelona c hair paved the way for its perfect reception at the Pavilion. The chair was viewed by royal visitors who eventually deemed it a chair whose design was fit for kings. The original frame was bolted together but the design used stainless steel so that it offered a smooth appearance. Originally it used pigskin but this fabric has since been replaced by Bovine leather.