Apart from the display, VitraHaus offers insights into production methods and quality control. Photo © Iwan Baan With just a few exceptions, only the gable ends are glazed, and the structural volumes seem to have been shaped with an extrusion press. Due to the proportions and dimensions of the interior spaces — the architects use the term 'domestic scale' — the showrooms are reminiscent of familiar residential settings. This is an exercise in contrast and the careful balance between each of its distinctions makes VitraHaus not only successful as a building, but deeply satisfying as a destination. Beginning with the story behind this icon of modern furniture design — produced by Vitra with the same care and precision for more than 50 years — the Vitra Atelier opens up various perspectives.
The products that will be on display are designed primarily for the private home and, as such, should not be presented in the neutral atmosphere of the conventional hall or museum but rather in an environment suited to their character and use. Internally, circulation is carefully yet subtly controlled. The interior lies before the eyes of the Vitra Campus and the countryside of Weil am Rhein. This means that you can find inspiration for your home, explore your taste in design and try out, order and purchase furniture and design objects. Since that time, buildings have been erected on the Vitra grounds in Weil am Rhein by a wide ranging group of architects, including Frank Gehry Vitra Design Museum and Factory Building, 1989 , Fire Station, 1993 , Conference Pavilion, 1993 , Factory Building, Passage Cover, Car Parking, 1994 , VitraHaus, 2010 , and Factory Building, 2011.
Photo © Iwan Baan The complexity of the interior space arises not only from the angular intersection of the individual houses but also from the integration of a second geometrical concept. For those interested to visit, the VitraHaus is open Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. All of the staircases are integrated into expansive, winding organic volumes that figuratively eat their way through the various levels of the building like a worm, sometimes revealing fascinating visual relationships between the various houses, at other times blocking the view. It was Ando's first work outside Japan. Photo © Iwan Baan Like a small, vertically layered city, the VitraHaus functions as an entryway to the Campus. Despite the exterior linear approach of architectural design the interior has a softer form a rather organic approach.
The individual 'houses', which have the general characteristics of a display space, are conceived as abstract elements. Vitra products have been used in numerous high-profile settings, including the plenary chamber of the German , the in , the in , headquarters in , in , or the. The aim is to make important classics of design history available. Image: Iwan Baan They called it VitraHaus, and its stacking, cantilevered and floating forms lead to a complex interweaving of spaces both within the building where distinct rooms have different scales and moods , and outside, where the form creates dramatic crevices, overhangs and angles. It gives visitors the opportunity to witness materials being used, individual production tasks, as well as the longevity and sustainability of the design, which remains as cutting edge today as it ever was. An open workshop forms the centrepiece of the Vitra Atelier.
Image: Iwan Baan Elevated above the Vitra Campus, the extruded houses are like telescopes, each pointing to and focusing on a distinct view — the German countryside from one outlook, and a postcard shot of Basel from the opposite side. There is also a set menu of the day in addition to the regular menu. In January 2004, Vitra launched its Home Collection, which includes design classics as well as re-editions and products by contemporary designers. The Fire Station is a sculpture of cast in-situ concrete that contrasts with the orthogonal order of the adjacent factory buildings like the frozen image of an explosion in a photograph. Photo © Iwan Baan With maximum dimensions of 57 meters in length, 54 meters in width and 21. Upon exiting the lift, the glazed northern end of the room offers a spectacular view of the Tüllinger Hill. The concept of the VitraHaus connects two themes that appear repeatedly in the oeuvre of the Basel-based architects: the theme of the archetypal house and the theme of stacked volumes.
Stacked into a total of five stories and breathtakingly cantilevered up to 49 feet in some places, the twelve houses, whose floor slabs intersect the underlying gables, create a three-dimensional assemblage — a pile of houses that, at first glance, has an almost chaotic appearance. The calm and restrained structure encompasses an assortment of conference rooms. The gable walls have been glazed with charcoal color stucco which unifies it with the surrounding setting. In the evening, the perspective is reversed. The staircases are integrated in an unrestrained twirling organic volume that symbolically unfolds itself throughout the various levels of the building in a worm-like manner. As one discovers on the path through the VitraHaus, the directional orientation of the houses is hardly arbitrary, but is determined by the views of the surrounding landscape.
Over the years, Vitra accumulated a growing collection of chairs and other furniture. The Café and the terrace can be for private parties and evening events after 6pm. The deliberate intention was not to create a horizontal building, the common type for production facilities, but rather a vertically oriented structure with a small footprint, which grants an overview in multiple senses: an overview of the surrounding landscape and the factory premises, but also an overview of the Home Collection. A striking feature is the footpath leading to the pavilion, which has a significant association with meditation paths in the gardens of Japanese monasteries. Today the museum is partly based on the own broad collection of 20th century furniture as well as host of visiting exhibitions. When the weather is nice, you can relax out on the terrace or in the meadow at the foot of the Tüllinger Hill. The outside of VitraHaus is obviously striking and incredibly well detailed — the dark grey exterior creates a seamless shell between roof and walls — but the true success and joy of this project is on the inside.
Production sites are located in Germany , Germany , United States , China and Japan. All of the staircases are integrated into expansive, winding organic volumes that figuratively eat their way through the various levels of the building like a worm, sometimes revealing fascinating visual relationships between the various houses, at other times blocking the view. Words Images Iwan Baan Posted 4 Jan 2013 Sources — Tags ,. Today, Vitra's product line consists of designer furniture for use in offices, homes and public areas. Given the large number of design objects on view inside, all of these areas are conceived as an integral part of the architecture and not as self-contained objects. During the day, one can gaze from the VitraHaus outwards while when the night falls the illuminated interior allows for uninterrupted views from the exterior into the interior. Thanks to its exposed location and striking appearance, it not only enhances the already outstanding ensemble of Vitra architecture, but assumes the important role of marking the Vitra Campus.
By stacking, extruding and pressing — mechanical procedures used in industrial production — simply shaped houses become complex configurations in space, where outside and inside merge. The five-story and in some cases fifteen meter high building which is composed of twelve houses, intersect like building blocks which are trying to balance in this three-dimensional composition. Later, it will be delivered to your door. It is the manufacturer of the works of many internationally renowned. Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra has its world-famous Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, about twenty minutes from the city centre of Basel.