The Pavilion is one of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s seminal Works and a key point of reference in XX-century architecture. The famous German Pavilion was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition and disassembled the following year. Half a century later, and in view of the importance of the Pavilion in terms of contemporary architectural history, the Barcelona City Council, with architect Oriol Bohigas at the head of its Urban Planning Department, decided to faithfully reconstruct the building. The project was carried out after extensive research by Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos between 1983 and 1986 on the Pavilion’s original Montjuïc site. Its innovative architectural structure marked a radical change in the layout of space and greatly influenced the development of modern architecture. Furthermore, the Pavilion exhibits the Barcelona Chair, also designed by Mies, along with a bronze reproduction of Georg Kolbe's sculpture Morning.
The Barcelona chair
Mies van der Rohe designed a chair, especially for the Pavilion, consisting of a leatherupholstered metallic profile that over the years has become an icon of modern design. To such an extent, in fact, that the Barcelona chair is still manufactured and marketed today.
Georg Kolbe's sculpture
The sculpture is a bronze reproduction of the piece entitled Dawn by Georg Kolbe, a contemporary of Mies van der Rohe's. Masterfully placed at one end of the small pond, the sculpture is reflected not only in the water but also in the marble and glass, thereby creating the sensation that it is multiplied in space, while its curves contrast with the geometrical purity of the building.
glass, steel, marble
Glass, steel and four different kinds of marble (Roman travertine, green Alpine marble, ancient green marble from Greece and golden onyx from the Atlas Mountains) were used for the reconstruction, all of the same characteristics and provenance as the ones originally employed by Mies in 1929. Mies van der Rohe's originality in the use of materials lay not so much in novelty as in the ideal of modernity they expressed through the rigour of their geometry, the precision of the pieces and the clarity of their assembly.
Fritz Neumeyer, Eduardo Mendoza, Barry Bergdoll, Xavier Rubert de Ventós, Oriol Bohigas, Fernando Ramos, Cristian Cirici, Martino Stierli, Paul Galloway, Isabel Bachs, Toni Mira, Jordi Marquès
The Barcelona Pavilion, the masterpiece with which Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich staged their revolutionary ideas in 1929, changed the History of architecture forever. It only existed for eight months but paradoxically its image was always alive in the minds of generations of architects around the world, becoming one of his greatest influences.
The Pavilion is still surrounded by myths and mysteries that this documentary addresses, framing the building into a portrait in two acts of the Barcelona that made possible its cons- truction in 1929 and its reconstruction in 1986. We immerse ourselves in a reflection on the transformative capacity of art, the emotional perception of space and the concept of masterpiece.
During the last nine years we have had the pleasure of filming the Barcelona Pavilion on numerous and varied occasions: video art, advertising spots or transformation interventions that artists like Ai Weiwei have made in this space. It is a scenario of endless perspectives, lights and reflections, a living building that changes at every hour of the day and at any season of the year. Each time you record it, the Pavilion surprises you with a new reflection or a new vi- sual composition, and you discover that fourth dimension that Mies created with the game of materials and perspectives. A universe where the composition of each frame easily becomes art within art because the Pavilion generates and multiplies beauty. This documentary is a cinematographic essay within this space of Miesian architecture, at once abstract and rational, finite and infinite.
CREDITS Directors: Pep Martín & Xavi Campreciós Producers: Anna Ramos, Antoni Garijo, Ivan Blasi, Pep Martín, Xavi Campreciós Screenplay: Ivan Blasi, Anna Sala Giralt, Xavi Campreciós, Pep Martín Music: Marc Mas Sound: Brendan Golden, Blai Barba
Cinematography and editing: Pep Martín & Xavi Campreciós
Duration: 58 minutes
Original languages: English, Spanish, Catalan, German