Opens the doors to the public in Germany signed VitraHaus Herzog & de Meuron, the new home for the Vitra Home Collection. Built in the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, the new structure is space near the Vitra Design Museum designed by Frank Gehry (1989) and the Conference Center by Tadao Ando (1993).
Up to now did not exist in the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein exhibition areas appropriate to the presentation of the full range of production. Hence the decision in 2006 to build a new building. Demonstrating its commitment to the culture of design and architecture, Vitra tasked to Herzog & de Meuron, who developed the idea of “Home-Coming” which reproduces the archetypal forms of the houses in the frame and reinterpreting them in a solution geometric overlaps.
The architects have proposed in a innovative model of the archetypal house, understood as a composition of five floors – two walls, two layers and a sloping floor. Images in “domestic scale, the interiors of the showroom intend evoke family residential, rather than galleries aesthetic purist.
The project takes shape from a three-dimensional assemblage, seemingly chaotic, 12 “single case” conceived as abstract elements. Only terminals cusps are opened by large windows and finished flush, while the bodies seem to longitudinal slices of a single extrusion. Different units intersect developed five floors in total, and reaching at some point cantilever height of 15 meters. The result is a small town stratified vertically.
With a maximum length of 57 meters, a width of 54 and a height of 21.30 meters, VitraHaus is now the tallest building of the campus, and new landmark of the Campus.
A “streets” paved with wooden slats constituting the central area, open, around which are grouped five buildings. On one side we find a zone conference and exhibition space, the other combines the Vitra Design Museum Shop, a foyer with a reception, a cloakroom and a café with an adjoining outdoor terrace.
The circuit suggested the visitors start from the top floor, easily accessible by elevator. The trail leads downhill through the various plans, to return finally to the point of departure. Circuit gradually gives way to understand that the precise distribution and the precise orientation of the various units, far from being random, deliberately framed specific portions of the surrounding landscape.
The articulation of interior space responds to the need to integrate a second geometric concept: the various flights of stairs are in fact derived by sinuous and expressive organic volumes that make their way through the successive levels of the building, “Herod” as worms, sometimes revealing spectacular visual connections between the different units, sometimes interposing the overall vision.
VitraHaus shows a different appearance depending on the day and night. If during the day from inside the building tend to look to the landscape outside, dusk-lit interiors are particularly visible, while the outer forms of the building gradually dissolve in the darkness. Rooms dilate and then the windows of the sections are turned into lanterns cuspidate-windows that illuminate and animate still the Vitra Campus and the surrounding landscape.
The first building was designed by Zaha Hadid Vitra. The Vitra Design Museum is the first construction by Frank Gehry outside North America and Tadao Ando has created his first work of architecture outside of Japan because of the campus. Nicholas Grimshaw, Alvaro Siza and SANAA designed each shed production. The campus also houses construction, signed by Richard Buckminster Fuller, Jean Prouvé and Jasper Morrison.
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