Comparison Guide: Mies van der Rohe Exhibition Chair (Barcelona Chair Reproduction)

Exhibition Chair Exhibition Ottoman Exhibition Loveseat Exhibition Sofa
Overall: 30.5w x 31.5d x 31h
Seat Height: 17.5
Seat Depth: 18
Overall: 24w x 22.75d
Seat Height: 15.75
Overall: 52w x 31.5d x 31h
Seat Height: 17.5
Seat Depth: 18
Overall: 73 x 31.5d x 31h
Seat Height: 16.5
Seat Depth: 18
$1,350 $ 780 $2,130 $2,810
Closest Match to the Signature Brand (except the price!)
Comparison Feature: "Signature" Brand Our "Modern Classics" Brand Other Cheaper Brands
Dimensions of the chair closely match the "signature" Brand Yes YES, our dimensions match the signature brand, but adjusted for greater seating comfort (i.e., you can go from sitting to standing position with litte trouble Close, but seat cushion is usually not as deep and at steeper angle so you feel like you are sitting in a bear trap
Offered in High Quality Leather in wide variety of colors; Offered in Fabric for additional charge Yes, they use their own brand of leather; not offered in fabric YES- we used only top-grain Italian leathers in 17 standard leather colors. For an extra charge, we can use your own leather or one of our boucle textured fabrics with matching leather straps. No, don't always use Italian Leather or just offer black, tan and white; not offered in fabric
Cushions use 40 leather panels, cut and hand-tufted, with hand-rolled welting on cushion faces; leather buttons the size of a dime Yes YES, hand-rolled welting dates back to the original design and we are one of the few who do this; dime sized, leather covered steel buttons No, use corded piping on cushions which are uncomfortable; buttons are too big
Cushions has leather on top, back and sides Yes, all surfaces are leather except small area on seat bottom where there is nylon fabric YES, all surfaces are leather except small area on seat bottom where there is nylon fabric No, use faux leather on the backs and sides
Cushions use 40 leather panels, cut and hand-tufted, with hand-rolled welting on cushion faces; leather buttons the size of a dime Yes YES, hand-rolled welting dates back to the original design and we are one of the few who do this; dime sized, leather covered steel buttons No, use corded piping on cushions which are uncomfortable; buttons are too big
Back cushion curved to the frame and attached with double snap system Yes YES, curved back cushion with angled bottom; 4 snaps hold the back cushion in place No, square cushion and single snaps.
No Corner seams on the front and back cushion Yes YES, we have removed the corner seams on the cushions Usually there are no corner seams
Premium Foam made from USA chemical for 35 year life Yes YES, we use HR (High Resilient), Foam from USA suppliers with commercial fire ratings No, foam quality and density poor.
Foam Density adjusted for comfort No, seat is hard and uncomfortable YES, we use foam in multi-density and Dacron wrapped for superb seat comfort - our most distinguishing feature! No extra padding, comfort level poor
Leather belting, finished on both top, bottom and sides; riveted to the frame (2 per strap on each end); 17 belts total NO, Belting finished on one side only, screwed to frame YES,matching leather belting finished on both sides and the edges too; riveted; 17 straps. No, use faux leather or plastic straps
Premium Stainless steel frame hand-polished to a mirror finish NO, Mild steel with only flash chrome plating (or pay extra for stainless) YES, Premium #304 stainless Steel hand polished to a mirror finish Not always polished to mirror finish; some have mild steel with chrome plating; or lower quality stainless which is milky in color
Smooth frame corners Yes YES, all seams are welded and ground smooth; leg ends are rounded Not always ground smooth sharp edges on leg ends
Retail Price (chair) $7,000 $1,350 $900 or less

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 Style 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 2003, 2009 or 2012 model. We try to keep up with these changes, and thus, we manufacture our version of the Barcelona chair, which we call the Mies Exhibition chair, very close to the current "signature" design of the Barcelona Chair.

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

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 the Bauhaus, L’Epirit Nouveau and Mid-Century Modern Collections. 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.

L103- Polar White Leather L107- Snow White: Leather L211- Premium - Beige White Leather L115- Café Au Lait Leather L119- Neutral Tan Leather L123- Autumn Tan Leather
L103
Polar White
L107
Snow White
L211
Beige White
L115
Cafe au Lait
L119
Neutral Tan
L123
Autumn Tan
L227- Premium - Golden Tan Leather L228- Premium - Honey Tan Leather L131- Cocoa Brown Leather L235- Premium - Espresso Leather L135- Java Brown Leather
L227
Golden Tan
L228
HoneyTan
L131
Cocoa Brown
L235
Espresso Brn
L135
Java Brown
L139- Charcoal Gray Leather L143- Standard Black Leather L243- Premium - Shiny Black Leather L244- Premium - Matte Black Leather L147-Standard Red Leather L247- Premium - Red Leather
L139
Charcoal
L143
Std. Black
L243
Shiny Black
L244
Matte Black
L147
Std. Red
L247
Red

Here at Modern Classics Furniture, we focus tightly on manufacturing and selling furniture in the niche market known as Modern Classics furniture reproductions. Since 1998, we have been a recognized manufacturing and distribution source of modern classic furnishings. Our customers include world renowned architects, interior designers, office furniture dealers, corporate buyers, offices, airports, museums, hotels, and homeowners. We only sell what we make, thus allowing us to control the production process.

Why we are your top choice for Modern Classic Furniture Reproductions:
  • We make and sell only our own products -- we do not sell other manufacturer's product, nor will you find our products elsewhere on the web.
  • We offer a 5 year warranty - call us with your questions: 360-733-6400
  • We offer FREE SHIPPING on orders over $2,500
  • We only make accurate reproductions using the finest materials
  • We offer wholesale and design trade prices- let us be your #1 source - sign up today!
Call our Main Office: 360-733-6400 or Visit one of our Factory Showrooms

If you can, visit one of our showrooms or call the main office:

Chicago, Illinois (Fine Arts Building)

Location: 410 S Michigan Avenue, Suite 306, Chicago IL 60605
Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 11 to 5 and Saturday: 10 to 4
Showroom Manager: Alison Mitchell 773-572-9449
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Dallas, Texas (Dallas Design District)

Location: 801 Core Street, Suite A, Dallas TX 75207 (Musgrave Assoc.)
Hours: By Appointment only right now.
Contact: Nick Fain 214-215-4669 or Curt Roth 360-733-6400
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Bellingham, Washington (Downtown)

Location: 1418 N State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday: 12 to 5
Showroom Manager: Curt Roth: 360-733-6400
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