Vitra Design Museum
D-79576 Weil am Rhein
Frank Gehry 1989
Vitra, the furniture company,
have turned to a variety of major architects to design the buildings
making up their manufacturing site near Basel, close to the
German/Swiss/French border. As well as Frank Gehry, Alvaro Siza, Nicholas
Grimshaw, Tadao Ando and
Zaha Hadid are all represented, in a cross
between an industrial plant and a model village.
The design museum houses temporary
exhibitions on themes of furniture design, and Gehry's building makes a
suitable host for them - in keeping with the theme, but - once inside -
supporting, not competing with, the exhibitions.
The geometry of the building does not feel contrived, or particularly
noticeable, as you go around the exhibitions. From the outside it does
feel both those things, but it is at home among the other architectural
showpieces that make up the Vitra site.
Simon Glynn 2001, updated 2008
How to visit
The design museum is open
Tuesdays to Sundays. It is closed on Mondays, and also during preparations
between its temporary exhibitions - so check first: call +49 7621 702 3200,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or
(select Vitra Design Museum, not the one in Berlin).
Vitra also provide 2-hour guided
architectural tours (in German) of the other buildings on their site. For
groups, you can arrange in advance private tours in German, English,
French or Italian - call the number above.
The museum is in Germany, but
the closest city is Basel in Switzerland. By car, from Frieburg (North) or
Basel (South) take the autobahn A5 (exit Weil am Rhein, then signposted).
From France/St Louis take the border crossing Palmrain. From Lörrach/Riehen
turn west at the junction marked 'Weil am Rhein' just North of the Fondation
By public transport from Basel,
take bus number 55 which stops right outside the museum at the entrance to
the Vitra site. Or from the train station in Weil am Rhein it is a
Books and other web
Illustrations and brief
information (in English) about the architecture at the Vitra site is
provided at Vitra's web site.
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