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Fundación Mies Van der Rohe

Fundación Mies Van der Rohe (86)

If you have a passion for architecture, Barcelona offers infinite possibilities. One of them is a visit to the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion. 

It was built in 1929 for the Universal Exhibition as the German Pavilion, to hold the official reception presided over by King Alfons XIII alongside the German distinguished guests. And once the exhibition had finished, it was taken down.

Despite this, the ephemeral work by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe became symbolic of the Modern Movement and a source of inspiration for generations of architects. 

Such was the interest and enthusiasm that the Pavilion continued to produce that for the centenary of the birth of Van der Rohe, it was decided to rebuild it in exactly the same place on Montjuïc where it had originally stood. Work began in 1983 and was finished three years later. 

The same materials were used: glass, steel and tour types of marble: Roman travertine, green Alpine marble, green ancient Greek marble and golden onyx from the Atlas Mountains. 

Its great merit is that today it continues to appear as modern as it day when it was first opened, and its geometric lines are still admired fro their simplicity and precision.

The same thing happened with the Barcelona chair which you can see inside the Pavilion. Designed by Mies van der Rohe for the occasion it is still being produced eighty years later.

Another detail not to be missed is the sculpture “Dawn” by Georg Kolbe, one of the most important sculptors of the first half of the 20th century. It is a female figure with curved lines, situated at the far side of a small pond, reflected not only in the water but also in the windows of the building. 

The Pavilion is home to the Mies Van der Rohe Foundation, which has an extraordinary library about the great director of the Bauhaus school. Conferences and exhibitions are organised here and research and documentation of modern architecture in a cultural context is promoted. Every two years, the Foundation awards the prestigious Architecture Prize of the European Union. The prize for many people though, is being able to visit the reconstructed Pavilion. 

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