Modernism: The Barcelona Pavilion

1059 Words 5 Pages
Modernism and Modernisms - Semester 1

The modernist building that I will be discussing in this essay is the Barcelona Pavilion.
The Modern Period began from the late 19th Century all the way to early 20th Century. “Modernism, in the arts, a radical break with the past and the concurrent search for new forms of expression.” This was an era defined by industrialisation and social change after World War 2. Paul Greenhalgh using a postmodern perspective describes modernity as “a set of ideas and visionary goals, which by the 1930’s devolved into the pervasive look and technology of the International Style”.
The Barcelona Pavilion was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, it was apart of the 1929 International Exposition
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The Barcelona Chair was originally designed for the Barcelona Pavilion, Mies wanted the design to be more that just a chair, more than an everyday object but rather to be a monumental object. As the chair was designed for King Alfonso XIII and his wife Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, to oversee the inauguration of the exposition. In this instance you couldn’t just use a normal chair it has to be fit for a king. Mies was also inspired by the pavilion and its supporting structure and surfaces. For the exhibition only six Barcelona Chairs were created, the chairs success withstood the actual pavilion.The pavilion would host King Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg as well as German officials at the inauguration of the exposition. The Pavilion was meant to “represent the new democratic, culturally progressive, prospering and thoroughly pacifist Germany; a self portrait through architecture” Though this pavilion stood out amongst the rest at the exposition as Mies understood that his pavilion was nothing more than a building. It was not a sculpture nor was it house art, the …show more content…
Materials such as steel, glass, marble and wood. In the modern era “ the objects became the representations themselves.” Modernists wanted to make art and technology a part of society, this is referred to as the decompartmentalization of the human experience.” Modernists did not believe in the old methods of design and instead believe that new technology made the old style obsolete. “Le Corbusier thought that buildings should function as “machines for living in”, analogous to cars, which he saw as machines for traveling in. Just as cars had replaced the horse, so modernist design should reject the old styles and structures inherited from Ancient Greece or from the Middle Ages. In some cases form superseded function. Following this machine aesthetic, modernist designers typically rejected decorative motifs in design, preferring to emphasize the materials used and pure geometrical forms.” With the Barcelona’s clarity, use of space and its open plan design it is the perfect example of modern structure. The Barcelona Pavilion is everything that Modernity embodies, as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said “Less is more”.The Barcelona Pavilion serves as a representation of what architecture should look like. “Where space has a use and its aesthetic appeal is not an extension but part of its design, Modernism was a Universal in the sense that the architectural styles

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