out and about :: vitrahaus

Katie | November 19, 2012

Vitra Haus

Earlier this year, I was very lucky to be invited to the Vitra Campus summer party. I have already posted about the Campus and the art-come-food, but today I want to show you around VitraHaus.

Vitra Haus

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the idea was to create a series of domestic spaces that could be used to showcase Vitra’s home range. They took the archetypical shape and size of a house and simply repeated and stacked it to make more space than one could provide. The result is a five-story building that in places is cantilevered up to 49 feet!

Vitra Haus

Seeking a home-like environment didn’t stop them from including occasional moments of architectural spectacle, such as the glazed ends and this swooping staircase.

Vitra Haus

The space is navigated from the top down, so on arrival you take a lift to the fifth floor, and then descend at your leisure. I was very excited to quickly spot an Eames RAR rocker, which is what I’m peeking out from behind in my twitter profile picture!

Vitra Haus

But to be honest, I was like a child in a sweet shop – there was iconic design from wall to wall.

Vitra Haus

I love Alexander Girard’s grumpy Wooden Dolls, designed for his home in Sante Fe and inspired by his extensive collection of Folk Art. The full sized ones were even more impressive.

Vitra Haus

I was surprised to discover recently that Charles and Ray Eames didn’t actually design this little blackbird. They brought it when travelling in Appalachia, where it was probably made in the 1910s.

Vitra Haus

No-one knows who designed it, but it rose to fame in the 1950s when it appeared in silhouette amongst the legs of a group of DKR chairs, transforming a fairly ordinary product shot is something truly iconic. It went into production relatively recently, having been developed from 3D scans of the original.

Vitra Haus

VitraHaus also exhibits contemporary art. This is Taurus by Sarah Morris and was originally constructed in household glass. Her work is inspired by creating abstract patterns from the urban environment.

Vitra Haus

It was really nice to see so many products in ‘room’ environments, albeit highly styled ones, in contrast to the sleek, pared-down showroom spaces they are usually seen in.

Vitra Haus

It’s a fantastic building that really creates a sense of Alice in Wonderland exploration through a series of domestic spaces – a success, inside and out.

Vitra Haus

Further reading for the especially geeky:

Further Reading for the Especially Geeky ::

Founding Editor – Katie Treggiden

Having established confessions of a design geek in 2010, Katie Treggiden has gone on to a career in design journalism, writing for titles such as The Guardian, The Telegraph, Elle Decoration, Stylist, Design Milk and Ideal Home. In 2014, she launched Fiera, an independent magazine dedicated to discovering new talent at the world’s design fairs. Her second book, Makers of East London, was published in 2015.

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