Born the son of a stonemason in Germany in 1886, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe served many apprenticeships and attended vocational school before joining architected Peter Behrens. In 1927, Mies van der Rohe worked alongside Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier and Behrens on a housing project called Weissenhofsiedlung, thought to be one of the most noteworthy projects in modern architecture. In 1930 he succeeded Gropius as director of the Bauhaus and served until the school was closed in 1933 by the Nazis. A few years later he came to the United States and became the director of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Even since his death in 1969, he continues to be considered one of the most important influences in modern design.
Manufactured since 1953 by Knoll, his eternally modern Barcelona is ubiquitous in banks, hotels, office buildings and homes throughout the world.