On a cool and rainy day last March, I was with a group of bloggers and the team from Mooris.ch at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein. It was the perfect day for a trip and we were all in high spirits.
After a fun car ride with guessing games, singing and refreshments sponsored by Mono Delivery, we arrived and were promptly greeted by a knowledgeable guide. She took us on an architectural tour of the vast grounds and told us a lot of interesting facts about the different buildings and their architects.
The first stopover was the conference pavilion designed by Tadao Ando in 1993.
A low concrete building in the middle of a cherry tree garden. Since ‘Sakkura’ (Cherry Blossoms) are sacred in Japan, we were told that the Japanese architect had designed the house ROUND around the trees in the orchard so that only ONE cherry tree had to be felled to build it, and he made sure that no part of the house was higher than the trees! Respect !!
Opposite this very ascetic building is the sophisticated Vitra Design Museum Gallery, designed in 1989 by the American Frank Gehry. The two houses could not be more different, both in the use of materials and in conception. The Gehry house has no straight lines, but many round elements and the view from every angle is almost surprising. Unfortunately, we did not have time to look at the exhibition, but maybe another time …
Instead, we continued to the Dome, a tent-like structure that Richard Buckminster Fuller, in collaboration with T.C. Howard in 1975. When I went in, it felt as if Harry Potter had entered the Weasley tent in one of the movies: It felt much bigger inside than outside! The acoustics also pretty much astounded us!
After admiring some other impressive structures, we arrived at the fire station, designed by Zaha Hadid in 1993, more like a modern art gallery. Our guide warned us that we were inwardly uncomfortable and although most of us did not believe it, it was true! Apparently, this feeling arises because none of the walls are at a straight angle.
Of course, this is not a very good quality for a fire station, but it has actually served its purpose for some time.
After the interesting tour, we got a fantastic and very healthy
Lunch gave us new strength and after a brief look at the Vitra Schaudepot (Design Classics Museum), designed in 2016 by Herzog & de Meuron, we went from the same architect to the Vitra house. Here is the Vitra Flagship Store and it looks like a bunch of houses being thrown over each other at different angles! Just unbelievable!! Most of us wanted to move in immediately, as it is equipped with everything a design-loving heart could ever desire.
Unfortunately the time passes much too fast, even if it was a lot of fun we had to say goodbye to all the beautiful designs and return home, but we will come back. Next time we will bring a bigger car so we can buy more!
I can really recommend a visit to the Vitra Design Museum to anyone interested in beautiful design and architecture. If you would like to do a guided tour, you should book this in advance, but the flagship store and restaurants are open to the public during regular opening hours. Visit www.vitra.com, you’ll find all the information here.
You can also find the furniture and design objects by Vitra in the online shop of www.mooris.ch