Segments in this Video

German Pavilion (01:42)


The pavilion built for the 1929 Barcelona World Fair was demolished in 1930. Photographs preserved interest until 1986 when it was rebuilt by a team of Catalan architects.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (01:54)

The original architect advocated beauty with functionality and used the simple form of a house, representing the pacified Germany.

Echoes of Ancient Greece (02:27)

Mies cited the pavilion with a natural background. The pavilion is on a platform with a large pool and single story, flat roofed structure.

Horizontal Line (01:04)

The line of the flat roof symbolizes the Modern Movement where the horizontal line is evident. Mies stated the construction is the form.

Free Plan with Deconstructed Partitions (01:25)

The pavilion uses a modern separation of 8 load bearing metal posts supporting the roof, and partitions of glass and marble walls that do not close the rectangle.

Partitions (02:15)

Partitions are inside the area of the metal posts, separating skin and skeleton. Glass and marble partitions meet at right angles, separating but not enclosing areas.

Ultra-Modern Concept (01:54)

The offset roof and open partitions give a sense of openness. While the concept is modern, the marbles of the walls are traditional; they cover a thin metal frame.

Ancient Materials Used in a Modern Way (01:18)

The cruciform posts are constructed with industrially manufactured angle irons covered with a chrome skin. hear a quote about Mies' thoughts on the language and grammar of architecture.

Floating Wall (04:18)

The onyx wall, like a picture, creates a space for the Barcelona chairs. The marble partition hides load bearing metal posts and the stairs leading to the Spanish Village.

Opened Space (02:45)

Mies carefully positioned glass partitions to complement the exterior view with his design. Transparencies and reflections interplay within the illusionary space.

Illuminated Partition (01:12)

The partition of ground glass with its interior lighting illuminates the entire structure.

Kolbe Sculpture (01:31)

Georg Kolbe's "Morning" sculpture is reflected in the small pool and mirroring partitions, and can be seen from multiple viewpoints. It is the common point of the 3 stone walls.

Open Labyrinth (01:29)

Different perspectives offer new views and multiple senses of the space. Mies said beauty is not determinable, but spiritual, the interval between things.

Credits: The German Pavilion in Barcelona: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (00:29)

Credits: The German Pavilion in Barcelona: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

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The German Pavilion in Barcelona: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

Part of the Series : Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
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Here, between grandeur and gratuity, Mies van der Rohe states his vision of the new architecture. The German pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona World Fair holds the record for notoriety per square meter built. A flat roof, 8 metal posts and a dozen partitions. How and why did this minimal structure come to be the incarnation of 20th century modernity? Apart from its iconic dimension, the Pavilion had no other function than to provide shelter for less than an hour during the reception of the King and Queen of Spain on the day of the inauguration of the Fair, but reconstructed by Catalan architects from photographs, the pavilion announces a modern treatment of traditional materials that opens the space and reflects the environment.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL65329

ISBN: 978-1-60057-642-3

Copyright date: ©2009

Closed Captioned

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