Herzog & de Meuron
Project
2006-2009
Realization
2007-2009

Over the past few years Vitra has acquired a wide-ranging Home Collection. The quantity and variety of objects by many different designers led to the idea of building a showroom to present the items to the public. A shop, a cafe linked to the outside and conference rooms complete the program.

The “VitraHaus“ 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. 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.

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 interior is designed as a spatial sequence with surprising transitions and views of the landscape. The landscape in all its variety – the idyllic Tüllinger Hills, the broad expanse of the railroad tracks, and the urbanized plane of the Rhine – was the incentive to design a building that concentrates on the vertical. In contrast to the other buildings on the Vitra Campus, an essential component of the design involved drawing the outdoors inside. The anticipated increase in visitors – not only individuals but also many schools and other groups – gave added importance to benches, niches, covered waiting zones and entries. These areas for sitting, standing, waiting, and looking are stamped or cut out of the shape of the houses through simple mechanical manipulations. 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.

Herzog & de Meuron, 2010

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Process

The VitraHaus at the entrance relates to the surroundings like a multiple vector.

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The shape of the building was developed by defining the spatial needs and experimenting with their layout.

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Early studies of stacked volumes and the emerging shape of a house.

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Systematic investigation of variations on intersecting, intercut, and pivoted forms, based on existing and abstract house-shaped buildings.

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Jacques Herzog, Rolf Fehlbaum and Pierre de Meuron study the intersecting forms.

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At three interfaces, staircases create special places and specific routes through the showrooms.

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Models and drafts of staircases as distinctive, biomorphic shapes set into the largely open interior.

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Models, sketches, and drawings of benches that could be in a living room although they are industrially integrated into the construction of the walls.

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Architects and client on-site, checking out materials, lighting, and the colors of the walls.

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Concrete construction of the labyrinthine building, poured in situ.

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Upon completion, VitraHaus presents an exciting flow of spacious and narrow interiors and becomes a luminous beacon in the landscape.

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The Vitra Campus as of 2013

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The Vitra Campus as of 2022

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Drawings

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Team

Partners
Project Team

Facts

Client
Vitra Verwaltungs GmbH, Weil am Rhein, Germany
Planning
Architect Planning: Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Architect Construction: Mayer Baehrle Freie Architekten BDA, Lörrach, Germany
HVAC Engineering: Krebser und Freyler PlanungsbĂĽro GmbH, Teningen, Germany
HVAC Engineering: Stahl + Weiss, Freiburg, Germany
Construction Management: Krebser und Freyler PlanungsbĂĽro GmbH, Teningen, Germany
Electrical Engineering: Krebser und Freyler PlanungsbĂĽro GmbH, Teningen, Germany
Plumbing Engineering: Krebser und Freyler PlanungsbĂĽro GmbH, Teningen, Germany
Mechanical Engineering: Krebser und Freyler PlanungsbĂĽro GmbH, Teningen, Germany
Structural Engineering: ZPF Ingenieure AG, Basel, Switzerland
Landscape Design: August KĂĽnzel Landschaftsarchitekten AG, Basel, Schwitzerland
Kitchen Design: Edgar Fuchs GmbH, Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany
Specialist / Consulting
Acoustic Consulting: Horstmann und Berger, Altensteig, Germany
Building Physics Consulting: Horstmann und Berger, Altensteig, Germany
Facade Consulting: Frener & Reifer GmbH, Brixen, Italy
Fire Protection Consulting: IBB Grefrath Ing. BĂĽro, Sallneck , Germany
Lighting Consulting: Ansorg GmbH, MĂĽlheim an der Ruhr, Germany
Multimedia: Zihlmann electronics GmbH, Freiburg, Germany
Graphics: Graphic Thought Facility, London, United Kingdom
Interior Fitting: Visplay International GmbH, Weil am Rhein, Germany
Curtain Design: Création Baumann, Weberei und Färberei AG, Langenthal, Switzerland
Building Data
Site Area: 132'923 sqft, 12'349 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 44'411 sqft, 4'126 sqm
Footprint: 14'251 sqft, 1'324 sqm
Length: 187 ft, 57 m
Width: 177 ft, 54 m
Height: 68 ft, 21 m
Gross volume (GV): 803'585 cbft, 22'755 cbm
Facade surface: 83'958 sqft, 7'800 sqm
Links
www.vitra.com

Bibliography

Gerhard Mack, Herzog & de Meuron: “Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2007. The Complete Works. Volume 6.” Edited by: Gerhard Mack. Basel, Birkhäuser, 2018.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva MonografĂ­as. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2013.” Vol. No. 157/158, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 09.2012.

“Campus Vitra, Weil am Rhein, Alemania. Herzog & de Meuron. La Casa Vitrina, VitraHaus, Weil am Rhein.” In: Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.). “Arquitectura Viva MonografĂ­as. Laboratorio Basilea. Novartis, Roche, Actelion, Vitra: Campus de Autor.” Vol. No. 134, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva, 09.2010. pp. 64-73.

Fernando Márquez Cecilia; Richard Levene (Eds.): “El Croquis. Herzog & de Meuron 2005-2010. Programme, Monument, Landscape. Programa, Monumento, Paisaje.” Vol. No. 152/153, Madrid, El Croquis, 2010.

Nico Ros: “Spaziergang der Kräfte.” In: Verlags-AG der akademischen technischen Vereine (Ed.). “Tec 21. Alles im Beton.” Vol. No. 19, Zurich, Verlags-AG der akademischen technischen Vereine, 07.05.2010. pp. 22-28.

Frank Kaltenbach: “Spatial Sculpture or Furniture Market?. The VitraHaus plays with Simplicity and Complexity.” In: Christian Schittich (Ed.). “Detail. Review of Architecture and Construction. Small-Scale Housing.” english ed. Vol. No. 3, Munich, Institut fĂĽr internationale Architektur-Dokumentation GmbH & Co., 05.2010. pp. 232-233.

Jonathan Bell: “Pitch Perfect. Herzog & de Meuron’s new Addition to Vitra HQ is our kind of glorious Pile.” In: Tony Chambers (Ed.). “Wallpaper. Design Interiors Fashion Art Lifestyle.” Limited Edition. Vol. No. 133, The Wallpapers Group, 04.2010. pp. 74-78.

Hubertus Adam: “Weil am Rhein. Präsentationsgebäude.” In: Katja Kohlhammer (Ed.). “Deutsche Bauzeitung. Zeitschrift fĂĽr Architekten und Bauingenieure. Nachhaltigkeit Gestalten.” Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Konradin Medien GmbH, 04.2010. p. 56.

JosĂ© MarĂ­a Faerna: “Un DĂ­a en la Casa del Diseño. VitraHaus de Herzog & de Meuron.” In: JosĂ© MarĂ­a Faerna GarcĂ­a-Bermejo (Ed.). “Diseño Interior. Interiorismo, Arquitectura y Diseño.” Vol. No. 213, Madrid, Globus ComunicaciĂłn SA, 04.2010. pp. 54-64.

Cyrille Poy: “VitraHaus. Compression Verticale d’une Forme ArchĂ©typale. Vertical Compression of an Archetypal Shape.” In: Alban Sauvanet (Ed.). “L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui.” Vol. No. 376, Paris, L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, 02.2010. pp. 11-24.

Luis Fernández-Galiano: “Ernsthafte Spielerei.” In: Cornel Windlin, Rolf Fehlbaum (Eds.). “Projekt Vitra.” Basel / Boston / Berlin, Birkhäuser, 2008. pp. 55-62.

Location