Knoll Barcelona Chair

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When Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was chosen to create the furnishings for the German Pavilion at the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona, he designed an iconic chair that many may not realize was born with royal roots. He built the Barcelona Chair to serve as seating for the king and queen of Spain, while he also designed a stool for the attendees to rest on. He formed an angular, tufted cushion that comes from a single cowhide—either Spinneybeck® or Edelman Leather. The support is made of cowhide belting straps that are dyed to match the color of the chair. In order to create such precise tufting, 40 leather panels are cut individually and are both hand-welted and hand-tufted with leather buttons. In 1953, Mies van der Rohe officially granted the production rights to Florence Knoll, who was a close friend during their time at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Today, Knoll continues to produce the chair in the U.S.A. to the exact specifications of the original design.

Photo Courtesy of Knoll