Biber Architects

Biber Architects

New York, NY


100 Ideas: 008 Barcelona Chairs for NYC Parks

By jamesbiber
Dec 21, '11 12:20 PM EST

Parks need furniture out on those lawns, but it has to be robust & secure; in short, it needs to be bulletproof.

The Barcelona Chair is so big, so heavy and so durable that it could, in an outdoor version, be easily anchored and last for decades. Paris can have its little folding chairs, and London can have its teak benches, but American’s butts need something with a bit more ‘girth’.

The Barcelona chair was designed by Mies van der Rohe for Germany’s pavilion at the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. Why a chair designed by a German for a Spanish exposition 80 years ago? Because it is perfectly New York; international, historic, iconic, modern and very, very expensive.

Mies, after all, uttered “Less is more” and “God is in the details”. He was the sound bite king in the age of Mad Men and created one of The City’s first truly modern office towers, the Park Avenue’s Seagrams Building. And if the provenance of all modern architecture in New York runs through Philip Johnson, Johnson’s legacy starts with Mies.

Barcelona chairs are incredibly comfortable, incredibly elegant and would make every seated parkgoer a king.