Barcelona Pavilion

Published: 07/23/13 3:27 AM in Europe, Travel.
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During our bus tour around the city there was a stop at the reconstruction of the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies Van De Rohe. This iconic piece of architecture was originally designed and built as the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. To commemorate the significance of its design, this reconstruction stands near the Olympic Stadium and the Jardí Botànic de Barcelona.

As students of architecture, Kevin and I are very well versed in the features and innovations this structure is famous for. However, once again, the in person experience was far better than any textbook or image.

The Barcelona Pavilion is a perfect example of an indoor environment that is completely open and connected to the space outdoors. It is hard to define when you are inside or outside as the entire structure is made up of vertical planes that work around each other while never completely lining up.

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This calm reflective pool is an iconic feature of the Barcelona Pavilion. The effect the rocky bottom creates when juxtaposed with the smooth surface of the water is a beautiful texture that separates itself from the complete smoothness of the planes of the structure.

However I do have a confession to make concerning this famous pool. Since I have an unofficial collection of rocks from my various adventures, I decided it would be quite an achievement to add a rock from the pool of the Barcelona Pavilion to my collection. It was an orchestrated team effort involving about 5 people, but the deed was done. I officially have a perfect little rock from the bottom of the pool and it is a very special little rock!


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Overall, the Barcelona Pavilion is a perfect little structure that has the simplicity and elegance that shows in the work of Mies Van De Rohe. Visiting the Pavilion was very easy and it doesn’t take long to adequately tour the entire space. For 5 euros, it is definitely worth the stop.


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