Introduction

Use this guide to compare the Barcelona Style chair we manufacture with our closest competitors' versions, including the Signature Brand. We purposely excluded from this comparison the inferior chairs offered to the market; those published to sell for under $700 per chair. The primary reason why these chairs are so low price is due to lower grade material specifications, poor crafting and a lack of attention to the fine design details in manufacturing this model. It is almost an insult to the iconic design.

Comparison Chart: Modern Classics vs. the Competition

Base Price(with Shipping)

  • Modern Classics: $1,350
  • Signature Brand: $5,592
  • Rove Concepts: $1,455
  • Room and Board: $2,799

Frame Dimensions

  • Our frame dimensions are modeled from original 1964 engineering - production drawings, and are the closest to the designer's original intent of the model updated from his original 1929 version model. Our seat cushions are 18.5 inch deep, the deepest among the competitors and our seat slope extends from 17 inches in the front to 13 inches at the back, allowing it to be easy to get in and out of the chair while adding an extra comfortable sitting experience.
    5.00 out of 5
  • Dimensions have been changed through the years. The current version has a very sloped seat, making it difficult to get in and out of the chair, along with a poor sitting position.
    3.00 out of 5
  • Frame dimensions are a close match the Signature version, so they have the same problems with steeper slope and poor sitting position.
    3.00 out of 5
  • Frame dimension are seems slightly smaller in overall size than our version and the curve on the back legs is not correct.
    2.00 out of 5

Frame Metal

  • Our Frame is No. 304 grade stainless steel hand-polished to a mirror-like finish. Polished stainless is recognized as a more natural appearance metal feature than plated chrome. Stainless steel is easy to maintain, repairable by hand polishing and offers a near life-time of trouble fee use.
  • Frame is polished chrome hand-ground and hand-buffed to a mirror finish. The chrome plating process of metals has been noted as a generally unsafe manufacturing process for our environment and when scratched or chipped, the steel will rust and it cannot be easily repaired.
  • Frame is #304 stainless steel hand-polished to a mirror-like finish.
  • Frame is chrome plated to a shiny blue-tint finish. Once again, the chrome plating process of metals has been noted as a generally unsafe manufacturing process for our environment and when scratched or chipped, the steel will rust and it cannot be easily repaired.

Frame Straps/Snaps

  • Our Upholstery straps are cowhide leather belting, dyed to match specified upholstery color - 17 straps are used for cushion support. Our Upholstery Straps are attached to the chair's frame with stainless steel rivets. Back cushion is held in place with 4 snaps; seat cushion is held in place with three snaps. Snaps are stainless steel.
  • Upholstery straps are cowhide leather belting, dyed to match specified upholstery color - 17 straps are used for cushion support. Straps are attached with aluminum rivets. Back cushions is held in place with 4 snaps; seat cushion is held in place with three snaps. Snaps are zinc plated steel.
  • Upholstery straps are cowhide leather belting, dyed to match specified upholstery color - 17 straps are used for cushion support. Straps are attached with zinc-plated rivets. Back cushion is held in place with 4 snaps; seat cushion is held in place with three straps like belt buckle. Snaps are zinc plated steel.
  • Upholstery straps are cowhide leather belting, dyed to match specified upholstery color - 17 straps are used for cushion support. Straps are attached with zinc-plated rivets. Back cushion is held in place with only 2 snaps; seat cushion is held in place with three snaps. Snaps are zinc plated steel.

Foam Details

  • We use luxury grade HR (High Resilient) Multi-Density Foam construction giving our customers a very comfortable sitting experience - the most comfortable on the market! The foam is environment and people safe produced by a major world-recognized foam supplier. The foam is rated and independent laboratory tested for commercial safety grade fire and smoke standards for Europe and USA. Additionally, the foam is wrapped with Dacron polyester fiberfill for additional softness and seat comfort.
  • Use highly resilient urethane foam with down-like Dacron polyester fiberfill on the outside. Their foam density is high, making the cushions extra hard and not very comfortable.
  • Use inexpensive foam with no Dacron polyester fiberfill wrapped on the on the outside of the foam. Foam density is high, making the cushions extra hard and not very comfortable
  • Use highly resilient urethane foam with down-like Dacron polyester fiberfill on the outside. Foam density is low, making the cushions extra soft and not very comfortable

Cushion Dimensions

  • Our back and seat cushions are slightly taller and deeper to the frame, so they look good when someone is seated in them (no folding inward or excess pillowing of the cushions) or when the chair is unoccupied. Our back cushion has the proper curve to match the frame.
  • Current version has back and seat cushions that are too short, and the frame is exposed when seated in it. Back cushion has the proper curve to match the frame; seat cushion has scalloped back edge to match the curve of the frame.
  • Rove's back cushions are too tall and and their seat cushions are too short, giving it a peculiar appearance. Back cushion does not have the proper curve to match the frame; seat cushion has scalloped back edge to match the curve of the frame.
  • Seat cushion is too short, so the frame is exposed and making it uncomfortable to sit in. Back cushion does not have the proper curve to match the frame; seat cushion is not scalloped back edge to match the curve of the frame.

Cushion Sewing

  • Our Cushions are upholstered with 40 individual panels, which are cut, hand-welted, and hand-tufted with leather buttons about the size of a dime. Our Cushions have leather on top, back and sides, with no seams on the front and top corners.
  • Upholstered with 40 individual panels, which are cut, hand-welted, and hand-tufted with leather buttons about the size of a dime. Cushions have leather on top, back and sides, with no seams on the front and top corners.
  • Upholstered with 40 individual panels, which are cut, hand-welted, and hand-tufted with leather buttons about the size of a dime. Cushions have leather on top, back and sides, with no seams on the front and top corners
  • Upholstered with 40 individual panels, but use corded piping between the panels. Leather buttons are about the size of a dime. Cushions have leather on top, back and sides, with no seams on the front and top corners

Cushion Upholstery

  • We offer 18 imported Italian leather colors as standard, with the option of providing your own leather or selecting from our large back stock of European leather colors for a minor surcharge. We also offer Fabric for our chairs using our exclusive Boucle Fabric in 20 colors and we can use your own leather or fabric for a minor up-charge.
  • Only 6 leather colors are offered as standard, with the option of selecting from the entire Spinneybeck leather collection for a substantial surcharge. Not offered in Fabric or in your own materials.
  • Only 12 Italian leather colors are standard, with no option for other colors. Not offered in Fabric or in your own materials.
  • Only offered in 3 leather colors and no option of selecting any other color. Not offered in Fabric or in your own materials.

Our Product Details

The Barcelona Chair was designed in 1929 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Riech, his companion and working partner. This iconic chair, known at the time as the MR90, was created specifically for the Pavilion of German representation at the 1929 Universal Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.

At this Pavilion, Mies van der Rohe emphasized his “less is more” approach to construction through the use of modern materials, minimal structural frameworks and plate glass walls. The MR90 chair and complementary table, were an integral part of this pavilion. Through the use of black leather cushions on polished steel frames, the clarity of line and form suited the interior of the Pavilion perfectly.

Through the years, the Barcelona Chair has undergone frequent design revisions from Knoll, so what one would find on the 1980 model is quite different from what you would find on the 2016 model. We have engineered our chair based on original drawings from 1964 and we manufacture our chairs as closely as possibly to the original design content and intent of these 1964 production level product drawings, which may have even been approved by Mies van der Rohe himself, it is not known for sure. We call our version of the Barcelona chair the Mies Exhibition Chair, very close to the original design intent of the chair, vs. the modified design of the "signature" version of the Barcelona Chair.

Dimensions:
  • - Overall: 30.5w x 31.5d x 31h
  • - Interior: 30.5w x 18d
  • - Seat Height: 17.5h
  • - Weight: 49lbs

Leather Choices

Modern Classics Furniture offers two levels of Leather for the Mies van der Rohe series: Standard and Premium Leather. Each of the these groupings feature:

  • Top-grain leather from Grade A hides
  • Semi aniline-dyed (standard) and 100% aniline-dyed (premium)
  • Made in Italy and imported to our factory
  • No split hides or bonded leather

We are happy to mail you a physical piece of leather so you can hold it in your hands. Just go you our material sample request form. Also, if you don't see the color you want, just let us know and we can try to source it.

Below are the swatches of the leather colors we offer for our Barcelona Style Chair. Our standard leathers (denoted with the prefix L1) are top-grain, semi-aniline-dyed, corrected with a slight embossing. Our Premium leathers (denoted with the prefix L2) are top-grain, 100% aniline-dyed and have a soft feel to them and much of the hides natural grain patterns are retained. They are also a little shinier than the Standard Leather. We do not use split hides leather. Leather thickness is generally 1.0 - 1.2 mm depending on application of seating component for stretching and tailoring the upholstery design and condition. Both the Standard and Premium Leathers are considered equally durable and are ideal for home or commercial use.

Click on any of these swatches to see an enlarged view.

Fabric Choices

We now offer our own exclusive collection "boucle" textured fabric in an extensive collection of colors that are particularly suited for the mid-century modern furniture we make. This fabric and colors were custom made just for us, at a well known North America mill. Made of 100% polyester, our boucle's are soft, durable (250K double rubs), stain and UV resistant. We have arranged these swatches in color groups below. We are happy to mail you a physical piece of fabric so you can hold it in your hands, just complete this material sample request form. If you have a specific fabric in mind, we can either order it or we can use your supplied fabric. In either case, we need to approve the fabric to ensure it can be applied to the specific piece of furniture and we will need to provide a price quote.

We are happy to mail you a physical piece of fabric so you can hold it in your hands. Just go you our material sample request form. Also, if you don't see the color you want, just let us know and we can try to source it.

Fabric Name: Modern Boucle Fabric
Content: 100% Post-Consumer recycled Polyester
Weight: 22 oz/linear yard
Finish: Greenshield™ (High Performance, Eco-friendly stain guard that beads liquids and easy to clean)
Abrasion Resistance: 250,000 Double Rubs
(ASTM D4157-13)

Click on any of these swatches to see an enlarged view.

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