Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Deutsche Seide Weltausstellung Barcelona, 1929

In June 1928, Mies received a contract from Verein deutscher Seidenwebereienfor to design an exhibition stand for the German silk industry at the World Exhibition in Barcelona. The society had been considering the best forms of marketing since 1926. Most likely due to the successful “Cafe Samt & Seide” exhibition in 1927, and not least the cordial relations between society member Hermann Lange and Mies, who had received in 1927 a design contract for the private residences of Hermann Lange and Josef Esters, the choice once more went to Mies as architect for the trade show stand.

Mies executed the project together with his partner Lilly Reich.

In contrast all other exhibitors of textile products that had gathered in the so-called Textile Palace, Mies designed together with his partner Lilly Reich a closed pavilion. Over a total floor area of approx. 800 m2, an enclosed walkway between rows of showcases, consisting of wall panels with fitted glass cases, surrounds a large, rectangular open area.

Here, Mies and Reich presented a selection of silk and velvet fabrics on stands of various widths and heights set against glass walls of different colours. A semicircle of black polished glass represents the visual culmination of the concept, with its echoes of the wooden wall around the dining area in Haus Tugendhat that was being constructed at the same time.

The pavilion was received the prestigious gold medal award. This work was again exhibited in Cologne in early 1930 after the world exhibition had finished.

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