Directly across the road from the CaixaForum, this serene building stands in welcome contrast to the moderniste style of the Casaramona and the faux traditionalism of the Poble Espanyol. Designed by German architect Mies van der Rohe, it was originally built as the German Pavilion for the 1929 World's Fair and was the last of the architect's works before he emigrated to the United States. It is considered a key work of both his and the "International Style" movement for which van der Rohe and others, like Frank Lloyd Wright, became famous. The simple, horizontal structure contains his trademarks: precision, fluidity of space, and abundance of "pure" materials -- in this case different kinds of marble and glass. The structure is built around a shallow pool featuring a statue by Georg Kolbe, the German sculptor known for his female nudes. Inside is the original Barcelona Chair designed by van der Rohe and seen (mainly in reproduction form) throughout the city in reception areas. Although the pavilion now stands on its original location, this wasn't always the case. After the World's Fair, it was banished to an outer suburb, only to be rescued and reconstructed in 1985 thanks to an initiative by a group of the city's prominent architects.
- © Frommer's 2013
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