15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (2023)

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (1)
Source: Ben Miller
If you have never heard of the Barcelona pavilion, this has to be the main reason to visit Barcelona. The Barcelona Pavilion is a foundational symbol or modern architecture, for many it is the most important building in Barcelona. If you could see it like the person who saw it when it was built in 1929; the building was completely unique and started a new architectural movement. Here, I'll walk you through the things you need to know about the museum.

1. History of the Pavilion

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (2)
Source: malouette

When visiting the pavilion, what you will witness is a reconstructed building and not the original. The building has been so scrupulously rebuilt to a point of interest in itself. It was first built due to the Barcelona International Exposition in 1929. It was an exposition to show examples of architecture from all over the world. The Barcelona chair is the only piece of furniture in the building that would be the thrones of the King and Queen of Spain. The other object is George Kolbe's sculpture also called 'Morning'. The building was dismantled in 1930 at the end of the exhibition and its parts sent to Germany to be used in other constructions.

Over time, the world of architecture took notice of the influence of the pavilion and it was rebuilt in 1980 by the Barcelona City Council. Reconstruction started in 1983 and was completed in 1986.

2.Barcelona International Exhibition

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (3)
Source: Salim virji

The 1929 Barcelona Universal Exposition, also known as the 1929 Expo, was the second world fair held in Barcelona; from the United States and Japan also contributed, as well as from Latin American countries.

The exhibition was very important for urban development and became a testing ground for the new architectural styles developed at the beginning of the 20th century.


15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (4)
Fuente: Andrew Eland

The project was an absolute distinction between structure and enclosure; a standard structure of cruciform steel columns spread over freely spaced planes. However, the construction was more of a mix of styles, some of the planes serving as supports. The building rests on a U-shaped travertine enclosure to the south that helps form a service annex and a large watershed. The slabs project outwards and over the pool while connecting inside and out. There is another U-shaped wall on the opposite side of the lot.

4. Modern architecture

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (5)
Fuente: tetsuya yamamoto

The Barcelona pavilion is built with modern architecture dating back to the efforts of the 20th century.ºcentury modern architecture. These efforts are reconciled with the architectural design principles that underlie rapid technological advances. In art history, architectural styles evolved around 1800, calledmodern.

5. The reconstruction

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (6)
Source: Ben Miller

After the Exhibition closed, the pavilion was demolished in 1930. And over time it became a fundamental reference not only in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's own profession, but also throughout the 1920s.ºarchitecture of the century Due to the reputation of the pavilion, thoughts turned to action and reconstruction began. Architects such as Ignasi de sola-Morales, Fernando Ramos and Cristian Cirici were appointed by Oriol Bohigas, head of the Urban Planning Department of the Barcelona City Council in 1980, to initiate the project. The project began in 1983 and the new pavilion opened in its original location in 1986.

6. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (7)
Source: Jamie

A foundation was created when the Barcelona City Council decided to rebuild the pavilion. This non-profit foundation still exists promoting architecture. Its main activity is the organization of biannual award ceremonies for the European Union of Modern Architecture. Those selected or nominated give lectures in Pedrera.

7. Intervention program

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (8)
Source: Jamie

Since the pavilion's reconstruction, the Ludwig Miea van der Rohe Foundation has invited leading architects to temporarily adapt the pavilion. This installation and adjustments were called “interventions” and made the pavilion an opening point for debate on architectural ideas and practices. Some of the changes made are; adding spiral acrylic interior walls, filling the pools with coffee and milk, revealing the basement, and removing the glass doors.

8.The materials

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (9)Fuente: Mark B. Schlemmer

Glass, steel, Roman travertine, ancient green marble, Alpine marble, and golden onyx were used to rebuild the pavilion. They had the same characteristics and originality as those used by Ludwig in 1929. His use of materials was based more on modernity expressed through knowledge of geometry, the rigor of the pieces and the precision of their arrangement.

9.the barcelona chair

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (10)
Source: Yusunkwon

Ludwig Miea van der Rohe designed a chair specifically for the pavilion. It is made of metal upholstered in leather. Over time, the chair became an icon of modern design, as the Barcelona chair is still manufactured and marketed today.

10Georg Kolbe's sculpture

15 things you should know about the Barcelona Pavilion (11)
Source: Jamie

The sculpture is a bronze duplicate of George Kolbe's Breaking Dawn. The sculpture is cleverly placed at the end of the small pond. It is reflected not only in the water but also in the marble glass, creating a multiplied feeling in the space.

11Temporary exhibitions

Inside the pavilion, temporary exhibitions by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe are organized. The building is not only used as a gallery for simple exhibitions. The foundation asks artists to submit ideas where the pavilion is connected to art. These exhibits change from time to time. Always check their website for what's new.

12Inspired by modern buildings.

The Barcelona pavilion has the same structural design as the Capel Manor House in Horsmonden, Kent, England. It is a simple glass and steel house built in the style of the Barcelona pavilion. It is the most important example of modern architecture in Great Britain. Capel Manor House was designed by Michael Manser, a British architect in 1971.


13. The store

The foundation has also created an architecture and design bookstore adjacent to the pavilion that focuses on modern architecture. These books deal with Ludwig Mies and Der Rohe and also with pavilion building and the general book on modern architecture. The store opens at the same time as the pavilion.

14It offers viewpoints to the main places of interest in Barcelona

The pavilion offers a good point of view to other important attractions in Spain. The Poble Espanyol is an architectural museum in Barcelona, ​​Spain. It was also built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition to showcase the architecture and culture of Spain. The museum has current art exhibitions, houses, streets, theater, parks, school, restaurants and craft workshops.


  • Name: Spanish Town
  • Direction:Av Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13, 08038 Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Telephone:+34 935 08 63 00
  • Opening hours: 9:00 am – 4:00 am
  • Website:http://www.poble-espanyol.com/

15.How to get to the Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion

The pavilion is located on the right side of the Palacio de Barcelona. Take the metro to Espanya. After getting off the Metro, head up the wide Avenida Reina Maria Cristina towards the palace. Turn right and head towards Avenida Marqués de Comillas and the pavilion is right in front of you, in front of the Caixa Forum. The bus stop is located outside the pavilion.


  • Name: Barcelona Pavilion
  • Direction:Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 7, 08038 Barcelona, ​​Spain
  • Telephone:(+34) 93 215 10 11
  • Architectural style: modern architecture
  • Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Website:http://miesbcn.com/

Bon voyage and journey!


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