Saturday, 11 April 2015

Vitra Design Museum

This post relates to a trip I took at the start of the year but have only found the time to post it onto the blog this weekend. In January I visited the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein and was overwhelmed by the architectural petri dish created by Vitra. 

The most iconic buildings on the site are Frank Gehry’s Vitra Design Museum, Zaha Hadid’s fire station and the more recent VitraHaus by Herzog and De Meuron. I didn’t realise until the night before the trip that the campus was home to Tadao Ando’s first building outside of Japan which unexpectedly became the highlight of my trip.

Ando’s use of axis and approach is at its most powerful at the Vitra Campus. A path guides you around Gehry’s buildings to view its deconstrutivism from every aspect and to reveal the subtle concrete wall of Ando’s building. The proportions of the building used the consistent ratios of 2:1 and its scale is distinctly human in all elements.

An exhibition about Alvar Aalto and his works in product design and architecture called “Second Nature” was on when we visited the museum. The exhibition made the visitor realise the scale of work produced by Aalto and the implications it had on design worldwide. The exhibition was split into four sections concerning his early work, his relationship with art, extent of his furniture designs and finally his international architectural ascent.    

I would highly recommend visiting the campus as it is somewhat rare to view such a quantity of buildings by notable architects within such close proximity to one another.