The German Pavilion was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1929 as the work of German representation for the International Exposition held in Montjuic Barcelona that year. The Pavilion is designed as an area of modest proportions and refined materials. Glass, steel and four kinds of marble, were designed to accommodate the official reception presided over by King Alfonso XIII with the German authorities. The originality in the use of materials always prominent in the work, not in the novelty of them but in the ideal of modernity represented and their rigorous implementation, in terms of its geometry, the precision of its parts and clarity of assembly.
© Flickr: user-Wojtek Gurak
Known as one of the most significant works of modern architecture, the pavilion is characterized by the radical simplicity of their spatial organization and forms, along with a showy elegance of the materials applied. Fruit of the ongoing analysis that has been exposed over the years, different influences are attributed among which are the particular taste of its creator by traditional Japanese architecture, Suprematism and Neo.
© Flickr: user-profzucker
After the close of the Exhibition, the Pavilion had to be dismantled in 1930. But because of the huge interest generated by the work and its subsequent recognition, was considered the need for its reconstruction.
© Flickr: user-kalidoskopika
Oriol Bohigas in 1980 was the instigator of this initiative from the Delegation of Planning of the City of Barcelona. Thus was assigned Ignasi de Sola-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos as the architects in charge of the investigation, design and management of reconstruction began in 1983. The new building was opened in its original location in 1986.
The German Pavilion is located on the western edge of the Plaza de Carles Buigas in a space transverse to the major axis of Montjuic. It stands on a rectangular horizontal plane covered in travertine marble, which besides being the holder of the building, away from the immediate vicinity of the street.
Image via Google Earth
Over the base composition is developed based on a regular grid of eight columns. The Pavilion define their spaces by orthogonal set of plans posted, the walls are arranged so as to generate an absolute spatial flow into the building. Large windows draw the outside boundary continuous, thus declaring the transparency, the idea of freedom and progress that aimed to reflect the German Republic at the time.
© Flickr: user-Joachim
A total vision helps us to understand the horizontal nature of its design, basement, large deck overhangs, together with their proportions, exacerbate this condition. The lightness of the steel columns that relate these levels give an ethereal character, giving an effect of weightlessness.
Mies Van Der Rohe designed the building envelope separating the structure and generates a detachment of the roof over the walls, as it supported on steel columns on the cross, let the walls have a more open, and these are in some cases support elements and other organizers of space.
We can clearly identify three areas within the work, a reception area, a core and a backyard built.
The first is defined as the area of access, there is a pond whose bottom is covered in gravel, an interesting relationship is between the opacity of the walls, the reflection of water and transparency of the edge of the flag. A corner-dominated vacuum and transparency marks the entrance to the building.
Built the core is determined by levels of walls in different materials and controlled views through transparency, opacity, overlaps and gaps. Here come the nobles related materials, glass, steel, and four types of marble that cover the metal frame of the building: Roman travertine, green Alpine marble, antique marble and onyx Greece green gold of the Atlas mountains in Africa. An almost minimalist purity of form and design features available.
The last yard is enclosed by a wall, has a small water pond, it is arranged on the statue Alba, Georg Kolbe. The image of the statue is projected multiple times on the water reflections, glass or marble.
At present and due to its interest as representative work of Modernism, the Mies Van der Rohe welcomes visitors every day who can make instructional tours throughout the year. In turn receives sporadic presentations and exhibitions.
There are 5 photos in this German Pavilion Barcelona by Mies van der Rohe blog post. Follow the thumbnail below to view all 5 high-res photos.
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