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Here is an extraordinarily rare piece with fantastic provenance– this oversize version of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona daybed is 16 feet in length and custom fabricated of fiberglass and steel. You would not know that it is fiberglass without touching it. The level of detail and realism is stunning. It’s like an artwork using the principal of transference of material– when an object appears to be made of one expected material, but is really crafted of something totally different, often incongruent with one's expectations. The reason fiberglass was used to make this daybed is that it was created for use in the lobby of Mies van der Rohe’s IBM building at 330 N. Wabash in Chicago. Mies often specified that the public spaces in the buildings he designed be furnished with tables and seating also of his design. In the 1990s the owner of the IBM building hired Chicago designer Judy Niedermaier to decorate the public spaces. Having seen ordinary Barcelona chairs and sofas suffer the abuse of high-traffic spaces see with hundreds of people using them on a daily basis, she opted to something different that would hold up under extreme wear. Interestingly, this was not the first time Niedermaier employed fiberglass in her design work, nor would it be her last. Her firm had used fiberglass for store displays, pots and mannequins in some of their prop and merchandise display work, and then in the early 2000s with the famous downtown Chicago outdoor art projects “Cows on Parade” and “Suite Home Chicago” (fiberglass outdoor furniture custom decorated by artists). These daybeds could have been painted in colors that appear in a regular production daybed: black leather, brown wood and silver legs for an even greater trompe l’oeil effect. Rather, they are finished with a cold-cast bronze gelcoat. Perhaps a nod to the fact that the IBM building is not just a black steel high-rise, but is actually painted with a bronze-anodized aluminum.


16.5"h X 193.5"w X 37.5"d


There are 3 of the daybeds available.

Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Daybed from the IBM Building

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