The Vitra Design Campus


About mlpride

Professor and Associate Dean at the University of New Mexico, in the School of Architecture and Planning View all posts by mlpride

2 responses to “The Vitra Design Campus

  • unmarchvico

    Just across the German border,the Vitra campus was by far one of my favorite stops on our European adventure. On a day that was forcasted for rain, we lucked out and were graced with a beautiful day in Weil am Rhein. The site includes works from big names such as Ando, Gehry, Hadid, and Herzog & DeMeuron.

    Our group went on an architectural tour led Thiam (two thumbs up for his vast architectural knowledge and impeccable English) through the site and were able to meander through both the Ando and Hadid buildings. Since we were there on a Saturday we were the only group in both buildings which made the tour extremely personalized.

    Our last stop on the tour was the newly constructed Vitra Haus by Herzog and DeMuron. The exterior of the building looks like a mess of stacked houses. The interior of the building, which houses an interior design mother-load, worked surprisingly well with great views to the countryside and dynamic interior spaces. The gift shop on the bottom floor and cafe were also a must see!

    This should be a stop on all designers itineraries visiting this area!


    fun fact from this day:
    Tadao Ando, who is a self taught architectural master, is a twin. His brother, whom was trained in architecture, has never made an impact in the architectural community!

  • unmarchvico

    The Vitra campus is a must for all designers not only to see the design furniture but also for the architecture. A lot of big name architects have designed buildings for the campus which include Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry just to name a few.

    One of the biggest lessons I took away from this visit was how important it is to experience buildings that we study in order to truly understand the quality of the space. During my 300 level year, I was a big fan of Hadid’s work. I loved the angles and the conceptual quality of her work, yet visiting the Vitra Fire Station caused me to question the success of her designs. While I still like the conceptual quality of her work, functionally the building doesn’t perform very well and some of the spaces actually cause the user to become quite dizzy. I would never have guessed some of the emotional responses from the angular layout without actual visiting some of her work.

    This was a great learning experience for me while I continue to develop my own style. Realizing how some of the unique forms can have a negative or positive impact to the occupants of that space. That formal aesthetics shouldn’t override functionality, nor functionality override formal aesthetics but it is truly a balance between the two with the realization that the architecture will have the biggest impact on the user.

    The Vitra campus is definitely worth the visit by all!


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