Clas­sic Up­date

Known for its sleek me­tal and dra­matic tuft­ing, an orig­i­nal paves the way for pretty new seats with big-city style

Traditional Home - - Contents - WRIT­TEN AND PRO­DUCED BY CLARA HANEBERG

New col­ors, fin­ishes re­fresh the Barcelona chair.

afix­ture of the mod­ern move­ment and an icon in fur­ni­ture de­sign, the Barcelona chair emerged in 1929. The brain­child of Lud­wig Mies van der Rohe, the vi­sion­ary who gave us that oft-cited maxim “less is more,” his clean-lined cre­ation was de­signed to fur­nish the Ger­man Pavil­ion at the In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion in Barcelona, where it would serve as seat­ing wor­thy of the king and queen of Spain.

The ac­claimed orig­i­nal de­sign—still pro­duced to Mies’ spec­i­fi­ca­tions by Knoll—has in­spired a crop of new it­er­a­tions. Pay­ing homage to the clas­sic, be­low, most of these fresh in­ter­pre­ta­tions flaunt the fa­mil­iar bis­cuit tuft­ing and me­tal base but bring a cur­rent spin with con­tem­po­rary col­ors and ma­te­ri­als (think luxe vel­vet and warm brass).

Whether new or old, the chair of­fers un­de­ni­able com­fort and good looks. “The Barcelona has al­ways been my fa­vorite chair,” says Cal­i­for­nia de­signer Kelli El­lis, who re­cently vis­ited Mies’ his­toric pavil­ion in Barcelona.

Ob­vi­ously, the leg­end en­dures. We’ll never say adéu—Barcelona for­ever!

SEAM­LESS ME­TAL CURVES MEET CLAS­SIC BIS­CUIT TUFT­ING, BRING­ING THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS TO­GETHER.”

—de­signer Kelli El­lis

Lee In­dus­tries Si­cily Camel leather gives the “1549-01” chair with pol­ished stain­lesssteel frame mas­cu­line flair (leein­dus­tries.com). Mitchell Gold + Bob Wil­liams Sink into the plush “Ma­jor” chair with grid-tufted Avi­gnon-Mer­lot up­hol­stery and a satin-brass base—or in other cus­tom com­bi­na­tions (mgb­whome.com). Jonathan Adler Rep­ping’70s glam, the “Goldfin­ger” lounge chair stuns with Rialto Navy vel­vet and a pol­ished­brass base ( jonathanadler.com). Bern­hardt The “Hy­der” chair with hor­i­zon­tal chan­nel­ing keeps the iconic form clean and sim­ple (bern­hardt.com). Milo Baugh­man for RH Orig­i­nally de­signed in 1969, the “#1373 Chair” with its low-slung tufted seat dons Twi­light per­for­mance vel­vet (rh.com). Lud­wig Mies van der Rohe, 1929, for Knoll The orig­i­nal cov­eted and ex­tremely rec­og­niz­able “Barcelona” chair (knoll.com).

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