WEIL am RHEIN
A little bit of design history
It all started with Frank O. Gehry's first building in Europe. Gehry completed his Vitra Design Museum in 1989. It was the first major public building on the campus, and includes 700 square metres of exhibition space across four plain white galleries. Together with the museum, which was originally just designed to house Rolf Fehlbaum's private collection, Gehry also built a more functional-looking production hall and a gatehouse for the close-by Vitra factory. More renowned names followed in his footsteps. Nicholas Grimshaw, Claes Oldenburg, Tadao Ando, Jasper Morrison, Herzog & de Meuron and even the late Zaha Hadid formed of what now is known as the Vitra Campus.
A couple of weeks ago on our way to Livigno for a week of snow and skiing, we stopped at the Campus. This visit was long overdue for someone who really enjoys good quality design. And where else to experience this than at the Vitra production facilities. How and more importantly how long does it take for one craftsman to build the worldfamous Eames Lounge chair. Observing the enthousiasm of one man working on this project day in and day out, makes you understand the huge demand and price of an item of this magnitude.
Taking a stroll around the campus, hopping from one extraordinairy building to the next, the boys having a great time on the slide by Carsten Höller, heading towards The Schaudepot by Herzog & de Meuron. The building, only recently opened in June last year, will allow the Museum to create a permanent exhibition showcasing its vast collection, which includes over 7,000 pieces of furniture, and the estates of designers including Verner Panton, and Charles and Ray Eames, for the first time.
The Schaudepot's exhibition will showcase more than 400 examples of furniture design from 1800 to the present. According to the museum, it will become "one of the world's largest permanent exhibitions and research facilities on modern furniture design". From early versions of the Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer, Frank Lloyd Wright's eclectic designs to the .03 by Maarten van Severen.
Passing the Fire Station by Hadid on our way back to the car, one last time on the slide. Prepping for our second and final part of the drive to snow peaked mountains we leave Ando's Conference Pavilion to our right and wave goodbye to Jasper Morrison's Bus Stop. It has been an absolute joy.