Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion

The Barcelona Pavilion is a work of artful simplicity that is emblematic of the modernist movement. It has been exhaustively studied and interpreted as well as having inspired the oeuvre of several generations of architects. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) as the German national pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition.

Built from glass, steel and different kinds of marble, the Pavilion was conceived to accommodate the official reception presided over by King Alfonso XIII of Spain along with the German authorities.

Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion

After the closure of the Exhibition, the Pavilion was disassembled in 1930. As time went by, it became a key point of reference not only in Mies van der Rohe’s own career but also in twentieth-century architecture as a whole. Given the significance and reputation of the Pavilion, thoughts turned towards its possible reconstruction.

In 1980 Oriol Bohigas, as head of the Urban Planning Department at the Barcelona City Council, set the project in motion, designating architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos to research, design and supervise the reconstruction of the Pavilion.

Work began in 1983 and the new building was opened on its original site in 1986.


Photography ©BG-Martin