Rediscovering the Barcelona Pavilion Through its Material Innovations: Steel, Glass and Marble

© Todamo /

Mies Van der Rohe and Lilly Reich’s German Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition is known as the most written-about modern building. But no matter how many times the pavilion is redrawn for analysis, there are always new angles from which to interpret it. Identifying its capacity to redefine the German image, while genuinely introducing new strategies that continue present in contemporary architecture projects are two key elements of the architects’ intentions behind their design strategy.

‘We have to get away from the coldness of functionalism. It is a mistake to believe that to understand the problem of modern architecture it is enough to recognize a necessity for rational solutions. Beauty in architecture, which is a necessity and finality for our time as for past periods, cannot be attained unless we can see beyond simple utility when we build.’ – Mies Van der Rohe

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