The Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany, a real theme park for architecture and design enthusiasts, is getting a whole new chapter, not with a new building, but with a garden designed by renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf. This is an opportunity to look back at this atypical place, an incredible sanctuary of modern and contemporary architecture.
Following a serious fire in 1981, the venerable furniture company Vitra, which produced the European editions of the Eames chairs, embarked on the construction of its campus: a museum designed by Frank Gehry, a barracks designed by Zaha Hadid, a pavilion created by Tadao Ando, a production hall designed by Álvaro Siza, a production building built by SANAA and a housing unit designed by Renzo Piano. In short, Pritzker prizes as if it were raining.
In addition to this catalog of buildings designed by the great names in architecture, there is a vast permanent collection housed in the Vitra Schaudepot, with 20,000 objects, including 7,000 pieces of furniture and more than 1,000 lights, which is the source of the most beautiful design exhibitions in the world.
This exceptional site has been given a brand new 4,000 square meter garden where nearly 30,000 plants flourish, with Dutchman Piet Oudolf as its conductor. The landscape architect, whose work includes the gardens of the Serpentine Galleries and the High Line linear park in New York, links Siza’s production building to Herzog & de Meuron’s VitraHaus, whose loft has been redesigned for its 10th anniversary. A delightful repertoire of illustrious architects to rediscover without delay.
by Lisa Agostini