furniture, inspiration

My WishList – part 1 – Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

Ahhh… if I ruled the world… this is definitely a Number One item I’d want in my flat when I finally come around to properly finishing it (one day!).

Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe
Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

Created by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion at the 1929 Barcelona Exposition, the Barcelona chair features the pure compositional structure that now epitomizes Modern architecture.

Barcelona Chair by Mies van der Rohe
Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe

This is one fine design masterpiece. Looking deceptively clean and pure, it is hell to make. Especially the frame, made as one piece. This, plus the high-quality, beatifully finished leather, and its place in the creme de la creme of furniture (can you actually call it furniture?…) all make up for the very hefty price tag, starting at around $4.5k for a Knoll piece (the authorized manufacturer).

And interestingly! It seems that a small war is secretly going on around the rights to the design, between the powerful Knoll, and Alphaville Design of Fremont…

Thursday, July 30, 2009 1:16:33 PM

Suit to settle whether Barcelona chair design is protected

Knoll, Alphaville duel over Mies van der Rohe works

Gary Evans — Furniture Today, July 30, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal lawsuit here will determine whether the Barcelona chair and other historic 1920s designs created by renowned designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are in the public domain.

The case involves contract manufacturer Knoll, which claims exclusive trademark rights to the iconic chair, and residential producer Alphaville Design of Fremont, Calif.

The companies have been in a legal battle over the chair since 2007. The court recently cleared the way for a jury trial when it denied motions from both sides to resolve the case short of trial. In the ruling, the court said, “Specifically, the trademark rights will not be valid if the designs have gone into the public domain at any time. …”

“We are delighted at the chance to present our case to a jury,” said Alphaville President David W.F. Lee. “We have no doubt that the designs long ago passed into the public domain. … We feel that historical designs should be accessible to all. If we win, the people win. If we lose, that might be the day when affordable design dies.”

via Legal Cases.

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