It appears plausible that if confronted with the task of designing a seat for a queen and king, a designer may feel a little pressure to make a masterpiece. Architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe did just that using the Barcelona chair, an item whose popularity has endured for almost a century.
The Barcelona chair and accompanying ottoman were believed a contemporary throne. The fundamental scissor shape of this chair, having a polished stainless steel frame is believed to be motivated by the design of curule seats, a folding chair with curved legs without a rear that originated in ancient Rome and was designed for high-ranking police officers.
Mies and Reich's layout was an advanced piece of furniture, mostly unadorned but with contemporary technology, perfectly blending function and form. It functioned well with Mies's belief that "less is more".
The initial layout, which has witnessed a couple of alterations over the years, includes a slender chrome-plated steel framework that crosses under the rear of the chair, making a different X form. Noticeably missing arms, the wide chair is covered in luxurious cowhide which features profound hand-tufting at a neat grid layout throughout the trunk and back.
While the seat immediately gained recognition from the design world, just a few versions were created within the subsequent 15 decades or so. The Barcelona chair was not mass-produced until the late 1940s when Knoll Furniture Company took over the fabrication. They have been making the seat ever since.