Barcelona Pavilion: A Guide to the Modernist Barcelona's Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion
|Exterior of the Barcelona Pavilion|
As you explore the Pavilion, you'll be struck by its sleek lines, open layout, and the seamless integration of natural elements, such as the reflective pools and surrounding gardens. The structure's innovative design allows you to feel both inside and outside at the same time, creating a harmonious balance that's as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot day.
In this article I will provide a short history to the museum, along with details of how to get there, opening times, entrance prices and temporary exhibitions.
A History of the Pavilion
On visiting the Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion, what you are witnessing is not the original building, rather a re-construction of the one that was first produced in 1929. However, the fact that the building has been reconstructed so meticulously is a point of interest in itself.
The building was first constructed in 1929 for Barcelona's International Exposition. This was an exposition showcasing examples of architecture from around the world. The Pavilion's position was chosen by Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe as it led to the Palace. It was the official reception place for the arrival of King Alphonso XII to the exposition. The Barcelona Chair at Pavello Mies Van Der Rohe is one of the only furniture objects within the building. Mies Van Der Rohe insisted that only two chairs be placed in the Pavilion - which were to be the thrones for the King and Queen of Spain.
The other object is a sculpture by Georg Kolbe called 'Morning'. The sculpture was designed as part of a set, alongside one named 'Evening'. However, only the 'Morning' sculpture was ever used by Mies Van Der Rohe.
At the end of the Exposition in 1930 the building was dismantled and its parts were shipped back to Germany to be used in other buildings.
Over time the world of architecture began to realise just how influential the Pavilion had come to be. So, in 1980 Barcelona City Council decided to reconstruct it. They did this with the help of prominent architects and a significant amount of research. Work began on the reconstruction in 1983 and was completed in 1986. Great care was taken to ensure that materials were sourced from the same locations as the original building, with different marbles coming from Rome, Greece and the Atlas Mountains.
The Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation
When Barcelona Town Council first decided to reconstruct the Pavilion a Foundation was set up to do this. The Foundation still exists today and is a nonprofit organisation promoting modern architecture.
One of the Foundation's main activities is a biannual Awards ceremony - The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture. Prior to these awards, those nominated give lectures at the Pedrera. To book a place at the lectures call the following number.
Tel: +34 93 215 1011
The Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation also organise temporary exhibitions inside the Pavilion. These are not simply exhibitions using the building as a gallery space. The Foundation asks artists to pitch concepts in which the Pavilion is linked to art - adding something to the Pavilion rather than simply placing something in it.
The temporary exhibitions change on a regular basis. For information on what is taking place it is best to check the official website (below) under 'What's New'.
Next door to the Pavilion you will find a small shop. Rather than being a souvenir shop, the Mies Van der Rohe Foundation have created a design and architecture bookshop focused on modern architecture. It offers books dealing specifically with Mies Van Der Rohe and the construction of the Pavilion, as well as more general books about modern architecture.
The shop has the same opening times as the Pavilion.
Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion
|January - February||Monday - Sunday||10:00 - 18:00|
|March - October||Monday - Sunday||10:00 - 20:00|
|November - December||Monday - Sunday||10:00 - 18:00|
If you are making a specific journey to see the Pavilion it is worth checking ahead of time that it will be open. The Pavilion is sometimes used for private functions, meaning that the space is closed to the public during these periods.
How to get to the Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion
The Pavilion is situated to the right of Barcelona's Palace. It is easiest to take the Metro to España. On exiting the Metro, head up the wide Avenida Reina Maria Cristina towards the Palace. Before any of the stairs, turn right on to Avenida Marques de Comillas - you will see the Pavilion directly in front of you, opposite the Caixa Forum. The Pavilion is adapted for access for people with a disability. There is also a stop for the Bus Turistic outside the Pavilion.
Location map showing the walking routes to the Barcelona Pavilion from the nearest metro stops.
Carrer d'Arago, 2
Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13
Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc
Parc de Montjuïc
Passeig Olimpic, 5-7
Avenida de Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 6-8
Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7
Avinguda de l'Estadi, 52
Plaça de Carles Buigas, 1
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373 - 385
General Public: €8.00
Groups (prior reservation must be made via e-mail): €6.00
Under 18 years old: Free
Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe
Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 7
Parc de Montjuïc
08038 Barcelona, España.
Tel: +34 93 215 1011
How to get to Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe
Metro: España (Red Line, L1) and (Green Line, L3)
Hop on hop off sightseeing tourist bus stop
Nearest stop for Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe is "CaixaForum - Pavelló Mies van der Rohe" with the "hop on hop off" sightseeing bus
Plaça de Carles Buïgas: 13, 150
Plaça Espanya: 23, 30, 37, 46, 50, 65, 79, 91, 109, H12, H16
E-mail: [email protected]
So, as you plan your Barcelona adventure, be sure to include the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion on your list of must-see attractions. It's not only a stunning example of modernist architecture but also an inspiring space that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of simplicity and the power of design. And remember, when it comes to architecture, sometimes less is Mies!