German pavilion by mies van der rohe: The Pavilion – Fundació Mies van der Rohe

The Pavilion – Fundació Mies van der Rohe

The Barcelona Pavilion was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich as the German Pavilion for the Barcelona International Exhibition, held on Montjuïc.

The Barcelona Pavilion, an emblematic work of the Modern Movement, has been exhaustively studied and interpreted as well as having inspired the oeuvre of several generations of architects. It was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich as the German national pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Built from glass, steel and different kinds of marble, the Pavilion was conceived to accommodate the official reception presided over by Kings of Spain Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia along with the German authorities.

After the closure of the Exhibition, the Pavilion was disassembled in 1930. As time went by, it became a key point of reference not only in Mies van der Rohe’s own career but also in twentieth-century architecture as a whole. Given the significance and reputation of the Pavilion, thoughts turned towards its possible reconstruction.

In 1980 Oriol Bohigas, as head of the Urban Planning Department at the Barcelona City Council, set the project in motion, designating architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Cristian Cirici and Fernando Ramos to research, design and supervise the reconstruction of the Pavilion.

Work began in 1983 and the new building was opened on its original site in 1986.

The materials
Glass, steel and four different kinds of stone (Roman travertine, green Alpine marble, ancient green marble from Greece and golden onyx from the Atlas Mountains) were used for the reconstruction, all of the same characteristics and provenance as the ones originally employed by Mies in 1929.

Mies van der Rohe’s originality in the use of materials lay not so much in novelty as in the ideal of modernity they expressed through the rigour of their geometry, the precision of the pieces and the clarity of their assembly.

The Barcelona chair

Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich designed a chair, especially for the Pavilion, consisting of a leather upholstered metallic profile that over the years has become an icon of modern design. To such an extent, in fact, that the Barcelona chair is still manufactured and marketed today.

Georg Kolbe’s sculpture

The sculpture is a bronze reproduction of the piece entitled Dawn by Georg Kolbe, a contemporary of Mies van der Rohe. Masterfully placed at one end of the small pond, the sculpture is reflected not only in the water but also in the marble and glass, thereby creating the sensation that it is multiplied in space, while its curves contrast with the geometrical purity of the building.


Drawings of the Barcelona Pavilion

Drawing Site Plan.PDF

Drawing Roof Plan.PDF

Drawing Plan.PDF


Mies van der Rohe and Reich

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on March 27 1886 in Aachen, the son of Jakob Mies (a dealer in marble) and Amalia Rohe. In 1913, he moved with his wife Ada Bruhn to Werder (on the outskirts of Berlin). There his daughters Marianne and Waltrani were born, followed some time later by Dorotea, who would subsequently change her name to Georgia. Until World War I, Mies’s social and professional relations had been with well-to-do families, but after 1918 everything changed: he separated from his family and, through Hans Richter, came into contact with the contemporary avant-garde, particularly Van Doesburg, Man Ray, Hilberseimer, Walter Benjamin and Raoul Hausmann.

During his participation in the Weissenhof housing exhibition at Stuttgart, between 1925 and 1927, Mies established a relationship with interior designer Lilly Reich that was to last until 1939. They worked together on the Glassraum (glass room) for the 1927 Stuttgart exhibition, on the Barcelona Pavilion, on the Tugendhat house in Brno between 1928 and 1930 and on the house they presented at the 1931 Berlin exhibition.

In 1930 the mayor of Dessau proposed that Mies direct the Bauhaus, where he would succeed Hannes Mayer, who had been in charge since 1928, when he took over from the founder Walter Gropius. His assistants during this period were Lilly Reich and Hilberseimer. The outcome of the 1931 elections was a Nazi majority at the Dessau Municipal Council, who decided to close the Bauhaus. Given this situation, Mies moved it to Berlin as a private centre under his own name. After having negotiated with the Nazi minister Rosemberg, in 1933 he decided to close the centre rather than cede to ideological pressure. Lack of funds also influenced this decision.

In 1938 Mies emigrated to the United States, specifically to Chicago, where he worked at the Armour Institute of Technology architecture school, which he eventually came to direct. He designed and executed the campus for the new Illinois Institute of Technology and its prismatic steel-structured buildings with naked brick and glass walls.

Lilly Reich was introduced to the field of architecture after having studied design and textile industries. In 1908 she moved to Vienna, where she worked at the Wiener Werkstätte, an association of artists, architects and designers who prusued the integration of all the arts in a common project, without distinction between major and minor arts. She also worked briefly with the architect Josef Hoffmann, one of its ideologists. She relocated to Berlin in 1911, already working independently. There she joined the Deutscher Werkbund, an association founded in 1907 formed by industrialists, architects and artists that defined the German industrial design. Lilly Reich stood out for her ideas and organizational capacity, acquiring more and more responsibilities until she was appointed director in 1920.

Between 1925 and 1938 Lilly Reich and Mies van der Rohe collaborated closely on different projects, and in 1928 she was named “artistic director” of the German section of the Barcelona Exhibition, thus sharing the same position held by Mies van der Rohe. Her situation in the National Socialist Germany was not easy, she spent three years in a forced labor camp during the war. After the conflict, she struggled to try to get Berlin back to normal, and was responsible for the restoration of the Deutscher Werkbund, which was finally restored in 1950, after her death.

AD Classics: Barcelona Pavilion / Mies van der Rohe

AD Classics: Barcelona Pavilion / Mies van der Rohe

© Gili Merin

  • Written by Andrew Kroll

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  • Architects:
    Mies van der Rohe

  • YearCompletion year of this architecture project
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  • Photographs

    Photographs :Gili Merin, Flickr User: gondolas, Greg Kristo, Flickr User: wotjek gurak

Text description provided by the architects. As part of the1929 International Exposition in Barcelona Spain, the Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Mies van der Rohe, was the display of architecture’s modern movement to the world.  Originally named the German Pavilion, the pavilion was the face of Germany after WWI, emulating the nation’s progressively modern culture that was still rooted in its classical history. Its elegant and sleek design combined with rich natural material presented Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion as a bridge into his future career, as well as architectural modernism.

More on the Barcelona Pavilion after the break.

© Gili Merin

After several architectural triumphs in Germany, Mies was commissioned to design the German Pavilion for the International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain.  The pavilion was intended to be the face of the German section that would host King Alphonso XIII of Spain and German officials at the inauguration of the exposition.  Unlike other pavilions at the exposition, Mies understood his pavilion simply as a building and nothing more, it would not house art or sculpture rather the pavilion would be a place of tranquility and escape from the exposition, in effect transforming the pavilion into an inhabitable sculpture.

© Gili Merin

Situated at the foot of the National Art Museum of Catalonia and Montjuic, the Barcelona Pavilion resides on a narrow site in a quiet tucked away corner secluded from the bustling city streets of Barcelona.  Raised on a plinth of travertine, the Barcelona Pavilion separates itself from it context create atmospheric and experiential effects that seem to occur in a vacuum that dissolves all consciousness of the surrounding city.


The pavilion’s design is based on a formulaic grid system developed by Mies that not only serves as the patterning of the travertine pavers, but it also serves as an underlying framework that the wall systems work within.  By raising the pavilion on a plinth in conjunction with the narrow profile of the site, the Barcelona Pavilion has a low horizontal orientation that is accentuated by the low flat roof that appears to float over both the interior as well as the exterior.

© Gili Merin

The low stature of the building narrows the visitor’s line of vision forcing one to adjust to the views framed by Mies.   When walking up onto the plinth, one is forced under the low roof plane that captures the adjacent outdoor court as well as the interior moments that induce circulation throughout the pavilion. The interior of the pavilion consists of offset wall places that work with the low roof plane to encourage movement, as well as activate Mies’ architectural promenade where framed views would induce movement through the narrow passage that would open into a larger volume. This cyclical process of moving throughout the pavilion sets in motion a process of discovery and rediscovery during ones experience; always offering up new perspectives and details that were previously unseen.

© Gili Merin

Every aspect of the Barcelona Pavilion has architectural significance that can be seen at the advent of modern architecture in the 20th Century; however, one of the most important aspects of the pavilion is the roof.  The low profile of the roof appears in elevation as a floating plane above the interior volume.   The appearance of floating gives the volume a sense of weightlessness that fluctuates between enclosure and canopy. The roof structure is supported by eight slender cruciform columns that allow the roof to as effortlessly floating above the volume while freeing up the interior to allow for an open plan.  With the low roof projecting out over the exterior and the openness of the pavilion, there is a blurred spatial demarcation where ht interior becomes and exterior and exterior becomes interior.

© Gili Merin

The pavilion is designed as a proportional composition where the interior of the pavilion is juxtaposed to two reflecting pools. The smaller reflecting pool is located directly behind the interior space which allows for light to filter through the interior volume as well illuminate the marble and travertine pavers.  The larger, shallow reflecting pool compliments the volume as it stretches across the rest of the plinth.  Its elegance and sleek lines establish a place of solitude and reflection.

© Greg Kristo

In addition to the design, the materials are what give the Barcelona Pavilion its true architectural essence as well as the ethereal and experiential qualities that the pavilion embodies.  The pavilion meshes the man-made and the natural employing four types of marble, steel, chrome, and glass.  The marble originates from the Swiss Alps and the Mediterranean.  Mies’ implementation of the marble is created through a process of splitting, called broaching, that creates a symmetrical patternization that’s found in the marble.  However, the most used material is the Italian travertine that wraps the plinth and the exterior walls adjacent to the reflecting pool.  When exposed to the sun, the travertine becomes illuminated almost as a secondary light source that dissolves the natural stone and washes the light over the space.  The travertine’s inherent luminous qualities as well as Mies’ seamless employment of the material over the plinth adds to the dissolution of spatial demarcation transforming the pavilion into one continuous volume rather than two separate entities.

In 1930, the original Barcelona Pavilion was dismantled after the International Exposition was over; however; in 1983 a group of Catalan architects began working on rebuilding the pavilion from photographs and what little salvaged drawings that remained.  Today it is open daily and can be seen in the same location as in 1929.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.

Cite: Andrew Kroll. “AD Classics: Barcelona Pavilion / Mies van der Rohe” 08 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . < ISSN 0719-8884

German Pavilion in Barcelona by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe | Admagazine


The most famous “modern style” building, the German Pavilion in Barcelona by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was built eighty-five years ago. Alexey Tarkhanov (Kommersant) tells.

Barcelona is the city of Gaudí, but there are stubborn pilgrims who begin their tour not from the two-headed Sagrada Familia sticking out from everywhere, but from a one-story building creeping along the ground. The Mies pavilion stands in a place of no honor at the foot of the hill, to the right of the former front alley that led to the main buildings of the exhibition. If you don’t know about it, you can pass by. But we won’t do that.

The classic Barcelona armchairs against the background of golden onyx and green marble were to serve as thrones for the king and queen.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

Any world exhibition of the last century painted portraits of countries. National pavilions were their calling cards. What did Soviet Russia look like after Konstantin Melnikov’s oblique and furious wooden staircase at an exhibition in Paris in 1925? Poor country, which is not boring, probably. But judging by the pavilion at the World Exhibition in Barcelona at 1929 Germany looked beautiful, free and rich.

Ludwig Mies (1886–1969) took the middle name Van der Rohe after his mother.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

The pavilion in Barcelona was built by the great (many would say the greatest) architect of the last century, the German Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It was the most perfect building at that time, representing the “modern movement”, international style. Nothing more beautiful has been created in this style since then. It was still impossible to verify this. A beautiful legend worked for the glory of the Barcelona pavilion. It lasted three months and disappeared, leaving behind only plans and photographs. But at 19In the 80s, when it was not at all fashionable to follow the ideas of Mies and any fool laughed at the international style, several Catalan architects decided to restore the pavilion. And they did it with exceptional precision and care. So it is now available to sight, touch and even comprehension.

Kolbe’s sculpture “Morning” standing in the corner of the pool has an author’s copy, it is located in Berlin.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

The pavilion looks like a lazy child’s construction set – several mutually perpendicular walls-planes, limiting the central volume with a small courtyard and a swimming pool, and protruding to the sides, as if claiming the space around. It is separated from the Catalan land by a podium and a ladder of eight steps. This is where they sell tickets, because you won’t find anything more like an entrance.

Behind the pavilion there is a garden with a plaque bearing the names of the architects who restored the Mies pavilion in 1986: Oriol Boigas, Ignacio de Sola Morales, Cristian Sirisi and Fernando Ramos.

roland halbe; Getty images/Fotobank. ru; alexey tarkhanov

Hitler did a lot for us to remember the heavy monuments of Speer and Breker in Germany, and this is a message from the times when the Germans were the freest people in Europe. The Weimar Republic had the cinema of Pabst and Lang, the theater of Brecht and Piscator, the novels of Remarque and Mann, the architecture of the Bauhaus, a huge incubator of talents, which then, saving body and soul, dispersed all over the world. How can an international movement not appear here when the national movement is banned?

The pavilion in Barcelona had no exhibits. He himself was an exhibit.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

The architect received the order for the pavilion after the construction in 1927 of the experimental village of Weissenhof, the main exhibit of the Werkbund exhibition in Stuttgart. He was the author of the master plan and designer of a three-story apartment building. There he proved that modernism can be ingeniously economical. In Barcelona, ​​he showed that modernism can be devilishly wasteful.

You can’t really sit on the bench by the pool, it’s moved away from the travertine wall so that you can’t lean on it. It is more of a sculpture of a bench than a place to rest.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

This is not beggarly square centimeters for you, divided between the bedroom and kitchen, but a thousand square meters, freely distributed in space. A modern Moscow architect would have built a three-room pavilion on such a plot of “Triumph Palace”, Mies. A thing in a practical sense, useless, as we would now say – pure show-off.

Mies van der Rohe chose the most beautiful stone for the partition walls and chrome-plated metal for the supports.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

After all, he made such a strong impression because it was not a monument, not a monument, not a theater, not a museum hall. It was something surprisingly similar to a private house, and a house of incredible wealth. At the same time, “something” was in no way a home, because nothing, except for a small bathroom in the corner annex (toilet on the site), was adapted for real life. It was a pure metaphor for splendid architecture, liberated in advance from all the moments that restrain it, any traces of human presence that humiliate it. There was no one to put a book on the Barcelona chair or throw a towel on the long travertine bench by the pool. By the way, it is quite uncomfortable to sit on this bench, you will not stay too long – the presence of other people here is tolerable, but, of course, undesirable.

The red curtain in the main space is reminiscent of the interior of a modernist villa.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

The only inhabitant of this pavilion is the stretching girl “Morning” by the German sculptor Georg Kolbe. The sculpture, usually designed for the viewer who walks around it, stands here in the corner of the pool and in such a way that we can’t see her back in any way. Of course, she doesn’t have a tail: firstly, Kolbe sculpted it from his wife, and secondly, the original can now be viewed from all sides on the lawn in Berlin’s Ceciliengarten (Mies went to the States, and Kolbe chose Germany, was appreciated by all authorities in a row and worked quietly before Hitler, under him and after). But “Morning” on the grass is not half as beautiful as “Morning” in a marble corner.

The small building at the end of the courtyard now houses a bookstore.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

Ludwig Mies’ father Jakob Mies was a marble trader, so the architect knew stone. All materials were precious – Italian travertine, gray Alpine marble and Greek green, reddish onyx from the Atlas Mountains. Thanks to the fact that the roof rested on eight metal columns, it became possible to make walls of beautiful thin stone, which otherwise could not withstand the weight.

The travertine wall is 21 meters long. Bench – 15.5 meters.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

In Soviet science, it was believed that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe suffered for democracy, for leftism, for the Berlin monument to Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. But Barcelona is not a democratic pavilion at all. It is not for nothing that there are only two famous Barcelona chairs here – they were placed as thrones for the king and queen of Spain. Photographs from the opening have been preserved, where the lanky hook-nosed Alphonse XIII with a small mustache is lost in a crowd of guests equally dressed in tailcoats with top hats. The difference between architecture and fashion in these pictures is striking. It is, of course, the work of kings to organize the space around them, but Mies came up with it better. Ideally, the monarch would come here alone and meditate on the edge of the pool.

Not many people remember that in addition to the Barcelona armchair and daybed, Mies also designed the ottomans of the same name.

roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov

The pavilion raised to the podium looks like a temple, but in the ancient, ancient sense. The temple was then the home of a god, and no god needed a laundry room and a shower room. Mies made it so that every visitor becomes such a god. No, we are not invited to stay here, but only here we can freely feel how divine life is in modern architecture.

roland halbe; Getty images/; Alexey Tarkhanov

Text: Alexey Tarkhanov

Photo: roland halbe; Getty images/; alexey tarkhanov


Barcelona Pavilion: Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona: Experience the pinnacle of modern architecture

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Exterior of the Barcelona Pavilion

Some of you may not have heard of the Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona, ​​for others it will be the main reason to visit Barcelona. A fundamental symbol of modernist architecture, for many it is the most important building in Barcelona. If you look at a building today, the lines, shapes, and style may seem familiar to you. But the most interesting thing will be to try to look at this building through the eyes of a person who saw it at the time of completion at 1929 – a completely unique building that marked the beginning of a new architectural movement.

As you explore the Pavilion, you will be amazed by its flowing lines, open floor plan and seamless integration of natural elements such as reflecting pools and surrounding gardens. The innovative construction design allows you to feel both inside and out at the same time, creating a harmonious balance that is as refreshing as a cool breeze on a hot day.

In this article, I will give a short historical background about the museum and explain how to get to it, when it is open, how much the entrance costs, and tell you about the temporary exhibitions taking place there.

Pavilion history

When you visit the Mies van der Rohe pavilion, you will see not the original building, but rather a reconstruction of the building, first erected in 1929. However, the very fact that this building was so carefully reconstructed is interesting in itself.

Barcelona Pavilion

The building was first built in 1929 for the World Exhibition in Barcelona. It was an exhibition of architectural achievements from all over the world. Ludwig mis van der Rohe chose this place to build the pavilion because it led to the palace. It was the place of official reception of King Alfonso XII during his visit to the exhibition. The Barcelona armchair in the Pavello Mies Van Der Rohe pavilion is one of the few pieces of furniture found in the building. Mies van der Rohe insisted that there be only two chairs in the pavilion – thrones for the King and Queen of Spain.

Another item is a sculpture by Georg Kolbe called ‘Morning’. The sculpture was conceived as part of a set. The second sculpture was called ‘Evening’ (“Evening”). However, only the ‘Morning’ sculpture was used by Mies van der Rohe.

At the end of the exhibition in 1930, the building was dismantled and parts sent back to Germany to be used in the construction of other buildings.

Over time, the architectural world began to realize how influential the pavilion had become. Therefore, at 19In 80, the city council of Barcelona decided to reconstruct it. This was done with the help of prominent architects and serious research. Reconstruction work began in 1983 and was completed in 1986. Great attention was paid to the selection of materials for construction – they were brought from the same places from which they took material for the original building. Marble was imported from Rome, Greece and the Atlas Mountains.

Mies van der Rohe Foundation

When the city council first decided to reconstruct the pavilion, a foundation was founded. The Foundation exists and still is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of modern architecture.

One of the main objectives of the Foundation is to organize twice a year the European Union Prize for Achievement in Contemporary Architecture. Before the ceremony, the nominees give lectures at the Pedrera. To book a seat at the lecture, call the following number.
Tel: +34 93 215 1011

Temporary exhibitions

The Mies van der Rohe Foundation organizes temporary exhibitions in the pavilion. These are not just exhibitions under the roof of the pavilion. The Foundation is asking artists to come up with ideas that link the pavilion to their work – to add something to the pavilion, not just place their work there.

Temporary exhibitions replace each other on a regular basis. For more information about current exhibitions, please visit the website (see below) in the ‘What’s New’ section.


There is a small shop next to the pavilion. Instead of opening a gift shop, the Mies van der Rohe Foundation turned it into a bookstore dedicated to design and architecture, with a focus on contemporary architecture. It sells both books dedicated specifically to Mies van der Rohe and the construction of the pavilion, as well as books on modern architecture.

The store opens at the same time as the pavilion.

Mies Van Der Rohe Pavilion

Month Day Time
January – February Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
March – October Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 20:00
November – December Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 18:00

If you are going to see the pavilion on purpose, you should check the opening hours in advance. The pavilion is sometimes used for private events, during which time it is closed to the public.

Directions to the Mies van dre Rohe pavilion

The pavilion is located to the right of the Barcelona Palace. It is best to get off at the España metro station. After leaving the metro, head along the wide street Avenida Reina Maria Cristina towards the Palace. Before reaching the steps, turn right onto Avenida Marques de Comillas – straight ahead you will see a pavilion, opposite the Caixa Forum building. The pavilion is adapted for visiting people with disabilities. The Barcelona Bus Turistic also stops near the pavilion.

Location map showing how to walk to the Barcelona Pavilion from the nearest metro stations.

Hotel InterContinental Barcelona

Evenia Rocafort Hotel

Vilamari Hotel

Hotel BCN Montjuic

Ayre Gran Via Hotel Barcelona

Hotel Brick Barcelona

Hotel Acta Azul

Caledonian Inn

Hotel Catalonia Barcelona

B Hotel Barcelona

Sant Angelo Hotel

Poble Sec Metro Station

Parking Gran Via

Parking PLAFER Abanto

Park Joan Miró
Carrer d’Arago, 2

Spanish Village Poble Espanyol
Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (National Art Museum of Catalonia)
Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc

Fundacio Joan Miró
Parc de Montjuïc

Palau Sant Jordi
Passeig Olimpic, 5–7

Telefonica Tower, Barcelona

Caixa Forum
Avenida de Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 6–8

Plaza España

Barcelona Pavilion
Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7

Barcelona Olympic Stadium (Estadi Olimpic)
Avinguda de l’Estadi, 52

Montjuïc Magic Fountain
Plaça de Carles Buigas, 1

Centro Comercial Arenas de Barcelona
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 373–385

Espana metro station

Espana metro station

Parking BSM Ciutat del Teatre

Parking Monterrey

Parking BSM Plaça Navas

Parking NN Rocafort

Parking BSM Rius i Taulet

This map is copyrighted and protected, copying is prohibited.

Cost of visiting

Adults: €8.00
Students: €4.00
Groups (pre-booking via email required): €6.00 ​​
Under 18s: Free of charge

Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe
Avinguda Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia 7
Parc de Montjuïc
08038 Barcelona, ​​España.

Tel: +34 93 215 1011

How to get to Pavelló Mies Van Der Rohe

Metro: España (Red Line, L1) and (Green Line, L3)

Barcelona Bus Turistic 9 stop0089

Nearest stop Pavello Mies van der Rohe – “CaixaForum – Pavello Mies van der Rohe” with “hop on hop off” sightseeing bus

Public transport – bus

Plaça de Carles Buïgas: 42 Plaça Espanya: 23, 30, 37, 46, 50, 65, 79, 91, 109, h22, h26

Car parking

Parking near the Mies Van Der Rohe pavilion (Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona pavilion)

Luggage storage

Click to view luggage/bag storage near Pavillion

Website: www.