Originally, Vitra's owner, Rolf Fehlbaum, wanted to store his private collection of design pieces in this stand-out museum that we're having a look at today. Thankfully this isn't the case and the building has become a museum for the historical collection of Vitra furniture that the company has offered over the years.
Based just outside Basel, in the small German town of Weil am Rhein, where the Vitra furniture factory is also located, the furniture designer and manufacturer decided it a good idea to have supplementary income to help finance maintenance of the site and so on. As a result, Vitra employed the help of world renowned, Canadian, architect Frank Gehry, designer of such ambitious ventures as: the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tower on 8 Spruce street, Manhattan, the Experience Music Project, in Seattle, and the Guggenheim museum, Spain; even though, at this stage, the Vitra museum would be his first, of many, European projects.
The first, and most notable, point about the very core of the museum design is that, before then, Gehry had never ventured into the world of using curved forms to diffuse the angular shapes in his designs, but with the Vitra project, he has done this; although he has stuck to his trademark deconstructivist style.
So, here it is in its full glory. The structure is recognisable as the work of Gehry and is no less striking than any of his other work, by proportionate comparison. The museum sits upon what has become known as 'the Vitra campus', which plays host to everything Vitra from the factory to the museum itself and the Vitrahaus…
This is the Vitrahaus, situated right next to the museum. Built in 2009, by Herzog & de Meuron, the Vitrahaus is the design label's flagship store and is host to entire Vitra home collection, from the classic, timeless designs to the modern marvels they product today.