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Vitra Showroom, Weil am Rhein
Building for Chair Manufacturer, Germany design by Herzog & de Meuron
post updated 8 September 2021
Vitra Haus showrooms Germany
Date built: 2010
Design: Herzog & de Meuron, architects
Showrooms for chair manufacturer Vitra
VitraHaus – welcome home
Until recently, the first thing visitors noticed upon arriving at the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein was the Vitra Design Museum, a building designed by Frank Gehry. Now a new building, which has been erected next to the museum, is destined to attract just as much attention: the VitraHaus by Herzog & de Meuron.
In close proximity to the Swiss border and the furniture manufacture’s Basel headquarters, Vitra has created a new domicile for its Home Collection in Weil am Rhein, Germany.
The VitraHaus invites visitors to explore, define and refine their sense of design. A visit to the VitraHaus is like taking a trip through design history, but it also offers the opportunity to encounter the work of leading contemporary designers.
The furnishings and objects from the Vitra Home Collection are arranged in a variety of settings for both living and working: classics by Charles & Ray Eames, George Nelson, Isamu Noguchi, Jean Prouvé and Verner Panton are combined with contemporary designs by Maarten Van Severen, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Antonio Citterio, Hella Jongerius, Jasper Morrison and others. Visitors can gain inspiration for the furnishing of their own home, explore their own preferences in design, try out the furniture and objects on display, and order or purchase products on site.
In addition, the VitraHaus offers insights into production methods and quality control. It demonstrates Vitra’s commitment to sustainability and illuminates the world of work and office chairs. A colour laboratory aids visitors in the choice of suitable colours.
The “Vitrine” in the VitraHaus shows a selection of chair designs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, thereby giving a view of the extensive holdings in the Vitra Design Museum Collection. The Vitra Design Museum Shop contains a curated selection of objects, accessories and books, which can be purchased directly. In the VitraHaus Café, visitors can plan the rest of their visit to the Vitra Campus.
In 1981, a major fire destroyed most of the production facilities on the Vitra premises in Weil am Rhein, which dated back to the 1950s. Since that event, a heterogeneous ensemble of contemporary architecture has been constructed on the site. Zaha Hadid realised her very first built structure here.
The Vitra Design Museum is the first architectural work by Frank Gehry outside of North America. Tadao Ando constructed his first building outside of Japan. Nicholas Grimshaw, Alvaro Siza and SANAA have each designed a manufacturing facility, and buildings by Richard Buckminster Fuller, Jean Prouvé and Jasper Morrison are also found on the Vitra Campus.
The selection of architects has always followed the aim of bringing the world to Weil, in order to create a unique site distinguished by an assemblage of “foreign” architecture. Accordingly, architectural inspiration came to Weil from Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Porto. Now, however, it seemed to be the right time for the Vitra Campus to integrate the world architecture that is created in Basel by Herzog & de Meuron.
With the VitraHaus, there is a sense of “homecoming” not only with regard to the architects, but also in the building concept. Herzog & de Meuron make reference to the archetypal form of the gabled house, which is found in residential structures around the globe.
They have stretched this basic form and combined a series of “houses” in an intersecting stack. The resulting interior spaces have comfortable proportions and a domestic atmosphere, while the intersecting volumes create dramatic angles and perspectives. The architecture of the VitraHaus takes the visitor on a path of surprises, offering views of the Tüllinger Hill vineyards, across the Vitra Campus, and in the direction of Basel and Alsace.
Vitra Haus showroom Building : further information + images
Vitra Haus showrooms Opening Times + Address
The VitraHaus is open Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
79576 Weil am Rhein
Brit Insurance Design Awards : Vitra Haus Weil am Rhein – 2011 Nominee
Vitra Haus showrooms by Herzog & de Meuron – images / information from Vitra
Herzog & de Meuron Architects, Switzerland
Location: Charles-Eames-Strasse 2, 79576 Weil am Rhein, south west Germany, western Europe
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