Vitra Schaudepot

Herzog & de Meuron, 2016

The exterior of the Vitra Schaudepot appears as a monolithic volume constructed from hand-broken bricks, characterised by a completely windowless façade and a simple gable roof. The bricks were split on site and give the building a lively texture. With its simple and dignified appearance, the Schaudepot reflects the cultural worth of the objects stored within. The interior of the building offers ideal conservational conditions for the preservation of the valuable pieces in the collection.

The main hall on the ground floor of the Schaudepot is defined by a regular gridded arrangement of fluorescent tubes on the ceiling, which evenly illuminate the interior. This space houses the permanent exhibition as well as temporary exhibitions related to the collection, along with the entrance area and a Shop. A third section contains wardrobes, sanitary facilities and the Depot Deli and links the building to the restoration workshop, the library and the offices of the Vitra Design Museum.

In front of the Schaudepot, a raised public plaza ties the building into the architectural ensemble of the Vitra Campus. The new building contrasts appealingly with the dynamic contours of the opposite Fire Station by Zaha Hadid (1993) while corresponding to the factory building by Álvaro Siza (1992), which was also executed in brick.
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About the architects

Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were both born in Basel in 1950 and studied architecture from 1970 to 1975 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich under the professors Aldo Rossi and Dolf Schnebli. After completing their architectural degrees in 1975, they established an independent architecture firm in 1978. Since 1994 they have held a guest professorship at Harvard University and taught as professors at the ETH Zurich, where they founded the ETH Studio Basel – Contemporary City Institute. The Pritzker Architecture Prize was awarded to Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in 2001, followed by the Praemium Imperiale in 2007.

The architectural office of Herzog & de Meuron has won international recognition for projects such as Dominus Winery in Napa Valley (1998), Tate Modern London (2000), Prada Epicenter Tokyo (2003) and more recently, Beijing National Stadium (2007), erected for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Recently completed projects include the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg and the new Transforming Tate Modern building.

Further Projects for Vitra:
2016 Vitra Schaudepot on the Campus in Weil am Rhein, Germany

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