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  • Writer's pictureOlivier

Germany: The Vitra Design Museum, Intersection of Architecture and Design

Updated: Feb 29

The Vitra Design Museum is located in Weil am Rhein, Germany, near the Swiss and French borders. It was founded in 1989 by Rolf Fehlbaum, the chairman of the Vitra furniture company. The museum is dedicated to the research and presentation of design and architecture, particularly modern furniture.


Germany: The Vitra Design Museum, Intersection of Modern Architecture and Design

© O. Robert


The building that houses the museum was designed by American architect Frank Gehry, in collaboration with the structural engineering firm Frank O. Gehry & Associates, Inc. It is one of Gehry's first major projects in Europe. The building's design is notable for its "deconstructivist" forms, consisting of asymmetrical white volumes and sinuous windows.


Purpose of the Museum

The museum features temporary exhibitions and also has a permanent collection that includes works from notable designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto, and Dieter Rams, among others. The collection comprises over 7,000 pieces of furniture, more than 1,000 lamps, numerous archives, as well as contemporary artworks.


The Vitra Campus - Architecture - Design - Industry

The Vitra Campus - Architecture - Design - Industry


In addition to the main building, the Vitra campus includes several other structures designed by renowned architects such as Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, and Herzog & de Meuron. The site is often considered a sort of sculpture park for contemporary architecture and design.


Germany: The Vitra Design Museum, Intersection of Modern Architecture and Design

© O. Robert


What can we find here

The Vitra Design Museum is known for its innovative temporary exhibitions that cover a wide range of topics in the fields of design and architecture. Some of the notable exhibitions include:


1. "Alexander Girard. A Designer's Universe" (2016) - This exhibition focused on American designer Alexander Girard, famous for his work in textiles and furnishings.


2. "An Eames Celebration" (2017) - A comprehensive exhibition dedicated to the work of Charles and Ray Eames, two of the most influential designers of the 20th century.


3. "Hello, Robot. Design between Human and Machine" (2017) - This exhibition examined interactions between humans and robots, addressing ethical and design issues.


Design of the 20th Century

Design of the 20th Century


4. "Home Stories: 100 Years, 20 Visionary Interiors" (2020) - An exhibition that explored the evolution of domestic interiors over the past century.


5. "Gae Aulenti: A Creative Universe" (2021) - Dedicated to Italian architect and designer Gae Aulenti, famous for designing the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.


6. "Alvar Aalto – Second Nature" (2014) - A retrospective of the work of Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, one of the masters of 20th-century Scandinavian design.


7. "The Bauhaus itsalldesign" (2015) - A comprehensive exhibition that examined the impact and legacy of the Bauhaus, the school of art, design, and architecture founded in Germany in 1919.


These exhibitions are often accompanied by academic publications and educational programs, contributing to solidifying the museum's status as a center for research and education in the field of design. The Vitra Design Museum also regularly collaborates with other international institutions and museums for the design and dissemination of its exhibitions.


Germany: The Vitra Design Museum, Intersection of Modern Architecture and Design

© O. Robert


Getting to the Vitra Design Museum

To reach the Vitra Design Museum, there are several options depending on your starting point:


1. By car: Weil am Rhein is located near the junction of the A5 motorway (in Germany) and the A35 motorway (in France). The museum has a parking lot for visitors.


2. By train: The nearest train station is Weil am Rhein, which is served by regional trains. From the station, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach the museum. The distance between the train station and the museum is approximately 4 kilometers.


My equipment: GITZO Mini Traveler. The ultra-durable carbon fiber pocket tripod.

My equipment: GITZO Mini Traveler. The ultra-durable carbon fiber pocket tripod.


3. By bus: Several local bus lines serve Weil am Rhein and stop near the Vitra Campus. Lines 55 and 8 are among the most commonly used for this destination.


4. From Basel: If you are in Basel, Switzerland, which is approximately 8 kilometers from Weil am Rhein, you can take a taxi or public transport to reach the museum. Shuttle services are also available that connect Basel to the Vitra Campus.


Germany: The Vitra Design Museum, Intersection of Modern Architecture and Design

© O. Robert

 

The address of the Vitra Design Museum is:

Charles-Eames-Straße 2,

79576 Weil am Rhein,

Germany


Opening hours:

VitraHaus, Shop and Café

Mon – Sun: 10am – 6pm

Interior Studio

Mon – Sat: 10am – 6pm

Vitra Design Museum and Vitra Design Museum Gallery

Mon – Sun: 10am – 6pm

Vitra Schaudepot and Shop

Mon – Sun: 10am – 6pm

Depot Deli

Mon – Sun: 9:30am – 6pm


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