These days we’ve been doing articles on the Barcelona chair replica because it doesn’t get as much love as mid-century lounge chairs, sideboards, tables, etcetera. The Barcelona chair replica needs love too because Ludwig Mies van der Rohe gave us all the love, but for some reason, mid-century designers have kind of strayed from the original benefits that the Barcelona chair brought to the world.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona chair in 1929. It was a kind of flattened design, as some people thought at the time, with a leather finish that didn’t completely stick to the wall behind it, as if to provide a natural recline. Interestingly enough, this chair’s original design included leather strappings that weren’t being used by any other similar item of furniture, and it didn’t come in a variety of configurations.
What you see is what you got with the Barcelona chair. four regular legs arranged in an X shape, and two big leather cushions of the same size for added support. It would not be wrong to say that the Barcelona chair was the first minimalist item, long before there was any actual talk of minimalism and the things that came with this particular lifestyle.
But even with Mies’s gorgeous contribution to the modernist furniture industry, it’s still very hard to find examples of similar items created by famous mid-century modernist designers. This is not to say that the Barcelona chair was not influential: it was influential only in style it seems, its minimalism and elegance made it so unique that it couldn’t be recreated. All we can do today is make replicas, and we recommend the ones from Barcelona Designs.
The Barcelona chair is more than how it looks like
Maybe these designers didn’t care so much for the Barcelona chair itself, but they still created a wide range of mid-century modern products, mostly lounge chairs and armchairs, that were greatly influenced by it. Florence Knoll designed a similar collection that’s still in production by her company, just like the Eames Lounge chair that is still in production thanks to Herman Miller.
The fact that they took the time to put their hearts and souls into these designs meant that these items also influenced the furniture that we put in our homes today, just like the Barcelona chair did to them. Even though there are very only a few “designer” products for the mid-century modern era that actually resemble the Barcelona chair, most furniture available is deeply inspired by the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
How can replica businesses help keep the legacy of the Barcelona chair alive?
Nowadays you can find a lot of mid-century modern furniture replicas, from beds to dressers to lounge chairs. How did this happen if mid-century designers didn’t intend for this products to be this popular and ubiquitous? Do they all sell the same types of quality replicas?
The answer is a doubtful yes. It’s not that they copied just one them, but rather that there are creating pieces inspired by the common markers in mid-century furniture. The sleek, flat patterns, neutral colors, a preference for walnut wood, skinny base legs, you name it. All of these features stem from that first idea that made the Barcelona chair incredibly famous, even almost 100 years after it was created.
At Barcelona Designs you have an entire section dedicated to the Barcelona Collection. If you want to see how a contemporary mid-century space would look like with these items, go ahead and check out their website, you’ll see what we mean.