Friday, 17 August 2012

Barcelona Pavilion 'less is more'

'Less is more' Mies van der Rohe

Back in April my Other Half and I went to Barcelona for three days. As we were there without the children we did some intensive sightseeing in a way that wouldn't have been advisable with the kids in tow. On one of our days there we went to visit the Barcelona Pavilion, situated near the Barcelona National Palace of Montjuic.

Designed by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Pavilion was built in less than a year for the 1929 International Exhibition held in Barcelona. With its' simple steel frame structure, glazed partitions and polished stone, marble and travertine walls, it became a very important early example of modern architecture.

It was dismantled only a year after it was built in 1930 but thanks to a group of Spanish architects it was re-constructed between 1983-1986. The original plans, as well as black and white photographs were carefully studied to ensure that the replica Pavilion would be as similar as possible to the original.

The Barcelona Pavilion never actually contained any exhibits but became an exhibit in itself, a space through which people could pass and enjoy the unfamiliar sharp clear lines of modern architecture. It was only 1929 after all! The Pavilion also housed examples of modern furniture design, notably the famous Barcelona chair also designed by Mies van der Rohe.

The travertine, marble and onyx have weathered beautifully.

I love this travertine bench lying low in front of the travertine wall.

There are two pools that beautifully reflect the clear sharp lines of the building.

Standing in one of the pools is a bronze sculpture by Georg Kolbe entitled 'Dawn' that is reflected not only in the water, but against the marble and glass. 

Here she is as seen through glass from a distance.

From closer up.

As I look at these photos again I can't help thinking of dancing...and raves. Ahem. Here she is reflected in the marble wall.

And here she's reflected in the water.

Reaching down for the sky.

We were in Barcelona as guests of the budget Spanish airline Vueling and the award-winning Indie Internet radio station ScannerFM for the #MyVuelingCity bloggers meet.

Muchas gracias!

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