Travertine, gold onyx, green marble: are some of the materials in the “Barcellona” pavilion

Travertino, Onice dorato, Marmo Verde in the "Barcellona" pavilion

Travertine, gold onyx, green marble: are some of the materials in the "Barcelona" pavilion

What are the materials used to make the German Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe for the World Expo of 1929 in Barcelona?

Travertine for the base and outer wall, gold honey-colored onyx and green marble for the walls, frosted glass and in gray transparent glass surface, chrome steel for the columns and for the seats, leather and heavy velvet, all designed to co habit without getting confused.

Despite the use of different materials the dominance of lithic varieties is undisputable

The entire structure rests on a podium from which rises a wall segment, both covered with open pore Travertine through large square slabs laid with conventional design with orthogonal joints.

A large rectangular pool extending south-east, surrounded by floor slabs, that continue beyond the edge creating a visual continuity, giving the impression that the water continues to flow under the base. Even the benches next to the building along its length, are in Travertine.

A second smaller pool is located on the north side, entirely surrounded by a wall covered by the three sides in green marble Tino with a honed finish, separating this part of the structure from the outside.

Rising from the pool is the famous bronze statue "The Morning" by George Kolbe, strategically positioned so that it is fully reflected in the water.

The pavilion is open plan, which allows the visitor to wander through the varied environments of uncertain frontiers. The main room is a rectangular space dominated by a partition wall cladded with Onyx golden honey-colored slabs, placed according to the book matched technique , thanks to which we can appreciate the dynamism and pace of the walls.

Onyx, travertine and green marble perform, also as dual use.

They are used as construction materials and at the same time decorative, acting solely from precious partition elements that appear to intertwine and flow one inside the other below and above the roof so as to create continuity between the outside and inside.

How much does classical and modern blend?

The connection to Mediterranean values is evident through the presence of stones and marbles.

Their sensual use, with bold and daring combination of designs and colors, is undoubtedly influenced by the works of the German Schinkel, which draws directly from the world of classical antiquity, and the linearity in the forms and executive precision, an expression of a modern, rational style.

Much of the importance of the Barcelona pavilion is in the capability that Mies van der Rohe had to realize infact the ideas of many architects of the time fully expressing the principles of modern architecture , hence the famous phrase "less is more" (simple but functional), which is why the building became the

true symbol of modern architecture.

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