The Barcelona Chair: Success and Greatness In an Entire Collection

Posted by Eloy on Jun 1st 2021

It's always worth stopping for a few minutes to learn the history of an iconic piece of furniture; much more if said piece belongs to one of the most popular decorating styles in the world, such as Mid-Century Modern. On this occasion, we'll take a walk through the history of design to revive the profile of one of the most influential, relevant, and notable designs of the last century: the Barcelona chair.

This piece is so popular that it doesn't matter if you have a Barcelona chair replica or an authentic one because, in any case, it will probably become the center of attention of your layout and make an unforgettable impression on your visitors. Where did this design come from? What makes it so special? Why has it remained among the best-selling, most talked about, and popular products within your trend for so long? Next, we'll review its fascinating background, reveal some of its secrets, and you'll have the opportunity to think if, perhaps, it's a chair that deserves to be in your apartment, house, or office.

Who Made The Barcelona Chair?

The Barcelona chair was born from the imagination of the famous Lily Reich and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and was presented in 1929 during the International Exhibition of Barcelona. It's a piece that, from the moment of its appearance, stole the attention of the public and connoisseurs for its amazing and extraordinary qualities. Both the general public and the specialized critics found in it a great versatility, defined by its ability to look good in practically any type of environment.

What Is The Barcelona Chair?

This piece, also known as the MR90, has become a classic in Mid-Century Modern design and a twentieth-century icon in the field of design in general. One of the most important reasons for its relevance is the historical context in the midst of which it appeared: the period after the First World War. During that time, nations sought to recover not only from the devastation caused by conflict, but also to begin to rebuild their image of stability and strength to the world.

In those years, people needed to learn about innovative designs and fresh ideas that would help boost people's morale and inspire confidence in the expectation of a better future. The Barcelona chair designer not only impressed with its designs but also built a large pavilion intended to restore and display the greatness of German culture.

A Top-Notch Design

The product is based on the sella curulis, the Roman magistrates' chair, which automatically gives it a flair of a modern throne. The designers of this piece wanted to offer something different, to innovate in every way, and that could only be achieved if they dared to break schemes and reinvent the preset.

One of the great challenges was to replace the usual four straight wooden legs with something much more innovative. That particular detail represented an obsession within the Bauhaus carpentry workshop in Weimar.

The design was finally forged from its main frame made of polished stainless steel, fully welded in one piece, with the chair legs interlocking in graceful curved shapes. This was not only synonymous with great endurance and strength but also introduced a great deal of harmony, lightness, and space.

The rest of the details and materials were entered with great caution. The Barcelona chair cushions are supported by screwed or riveted leather straps. These cushions are filled with polyurethane foam and fully wrapped in bovine leather, held by hidden double buttons. All these details were directly thought of as a successful way to offer a remarkably ergonomic and pleasant user experience.

Although an original Barcelona chair is currently a highly valued product on the market, which even many people of high socioeconomic status seek for its great elegance and prestige, there are also very faithful and affordable replicas. There's even a Barcelona chair and ottoman that is perfect for décors in a purely modernist style.

Who Makes The Best Barcelona Chair Reproduction?

Currently, it's very easy to find a Barcelona chair NYC in stores like Manhattan Home Design, which includes in their catalog an amazingly faithful replica of the original design and sold at a cost that represents only a fraction of the original price. Another significant example outside the United States is the replicas of Barcelona Designs, which convey all the original essence of the design, both in aesthetics and functionality.

The Barcelona Collection includes several fascinating pieces that, together, can equip, fill with elegance and style an entire living room or any other space, such as a lobby or luxury office. The interior designers who love and promote the MCM know the value of a Barcelona-style chair and the great acceptance it usually has from its clients, especially for minimalist environments.

The collection also includes a footrest, a table, or a daybed. All of these designs were also originally presented by Van der Rohe in the German Pavilion. Due to its popularity, it's common to find all kinds of replicas and knock-offs, some very faithful and amazing, that respect the Barcelona chair dimensions, their materials, and the rest of their characteristics.

The most common is to find a black Barcelona chair in the catalog of a modern furniture store, but an authentic piece may be available in other colors, such as white, red, blue, and brown. This remarkable chromatic diversity is another reason that explains its versatility and its great ability to easily integrate into current interior décor. Considering that almost a century has passed since its launch, it can be said that it's not only a classic design but also timeless.

If you love offices with MCM décors, a leather Barcelona chair can become, from the first moment, the main star of your workspace, especially if you constantly receive potential clients or partners and want to make an excellent first impression on them. Besides, the additional components of the design not only make it look astonishingly elegant but also very comfortable and ergonomic.

The offices and commercial environments with a vintage brown leather Barcelona chair have a minimalist, timeless, and comforting air, capable of leaving an unforgettable impression on your guests. Also, someone who knows a lot about modern furniture will surely immediately recognize your good taste and penchant for iconic designs, which speaks highly of your sense of style.

Why Should The Barcelona Chair be Part of Your Layout?

One of the first things that come to people's minds is that such a famous and prestigious piece surely means a significant investment of money, especially because since its launch, it has remained among the best sellers in its style and category.

However, a Barcelona chair reproduction represents only a fraction of the cost of the original piece and, if it's a model as faithful as the pieces of that collection offered by Manhattan Home Design, they are products that can fulfill the functions of the designs with great success.

If you're one of those people who resist knock-offs because they think that no other product could replace the aesthetic and functional value of an original design, a second hand Barcelona chair could be the perfect alternative, especially if you're lucky enough to find one in very good condition at an acceptable price. A vintage Barcelona chair, if authentic, could have been extraordinarily well preserved despite the many years it may have due to the high quality of its materials.

The most important thing to remember about everything you've learned in this article about this iconic twentieth-century product is that it can offer you multiple opportunities to create charming and memorable spaces, whether in your home or office settings.

Our most direct recommendation is that, when you finally have them in your spaces, try to give these pieces the most appropriate care and maintenance so that you can keep them for a long time. Remember that these are iconic designs of extraordinary value, and they deserve to become worthy family heirlooms. If you happen to need a Barcelona chair repair, the best thing is that you can go to professionals in furniture repair to obtain appropriate results.

Having a Barcelona Chair in your spaces will give you a fresh perspective on what it means to enjoy Mid-Century Modern even though it has been so many years since these designs appeared as an innovation that broke paradigms and inspired many people. Give your layout a chance to show off the majesty of these products that, in addition to furniture pieces, are works of art.


A pre-order is manufactured just for you or is in the process of being manufactured and allows you to save 40% since we can cut out any storage and warehousing fees.
Our specialized team will start handcrafting it for you and deliver it in just 2-12 weeks. The lead time should show on the page next to the Pre-Order option, feel free to chat with us to confirm it. The standard in the furniture industry is over 20 weeks.
If you have any questions, our team will guide you through the ordering process.


The team was a pleasure to work with - customer service, workmanship, and quality are outstanding. 8 weeks lead time is actually fast for the furniture industry!
-Suzanne Palmer

Being able to customize the color of my furniture was key for us. We placed a custom order, got the colors we needed, and saved big compared to in-stock items. Great experience overall, 12 weeks was worth it!
-Richard Eaton


Custom-made items are put in production within 48 hours after the order is placed.
Pre-orders are not able to be returned or refunded based on buyer’s remorse.
The following terms will apply:

  • Full payment is required for pre-orders.
  • Order can be cancelled within 48 hours without fees.
  • After 48 hours, cancellations will require a 20% fee from the customer.
  • After two (2) weeks a pre-order is placed, the order cannot be canceled, and will have the full right to receive full payment for the order placed for the pre-order item.