VitraHaus, Vitra Campus--page 1 (of two pages)

Herzog & de Meuron
2010




Herzog & de Meuron, yet another Pritzker-prize winning team building on this campus, designed this entrance to the Vitra campus, for here one not only can eat in the cafe, buy beautifully designed products in the gift store, see the wide range of home products produced by the company, but here one is greeted in the reception area for the whole complex; here one can buy tickets for the guided tours scheduled throughout the day (2 of them in English). It is truly a welcoming place and such a fabulous building by the famous architects from neighboring Basel Switzerland shows the commitment this company has to fine design and quality architecture.

Twelve elongated gabled "houses" are grouped around a central wooden deck. The architects says this is "a direct, architectural rendition of the 'ur-type' of house, as found in the immediate vicinity of Vitra and, indeed, all over the world" (their website). The whole is 5 stories high with the cantilevered "houses" (sometimes cantilevered up to almost 50 feet) stacked on top of each other at intersecting angles. Glazed gables punctuate the whole. These houses showcase the Vitra wide-ranging home collection, presenting these items to the public. The Vitra Campus guide says this is Vitra's flagship store. The structure also includes a gift shop and a cafe (and outdoor cafe when weather permits).

This site of this new building is on the northern side of the campus in front of the fenced area of the actual factory buildings. Like the Vitra Design Museum by Frank Gehry (1989) and the Conference Pavilion by Tadao Ando (1993), the VitraHaus is open to the public. A meadow and orchard in front of the building connect this industrial campus with the pastoral landscape beyond.

 
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The indoor cafe expanding in warm weather to the outside patio

 

Views from the side

 



Works Cited or Consulted:
Mateo Kries, ed. The Vitra Campus Architecture Design Industry. Vitra Design Museum, 2014.

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© 2015 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site) and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.