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Fire Station

Zaha Hadid, 1993

After the major fire in 1981, Vitra decided it would be a good idea to have a fire brigade. Zaha Hadid was commissioned with designing a building for it. Knowing that its company fire brigade could only combat a fire in its initial stages and could not replace the public fire services, Vitra decided to disband its fire brigade a few years later. Since that time, the rooms have been used for events and exhibitions held by the Vitra Design Museum. Today, the Weil fire services are responsible for the Vitra Campus. Together with the Basel fire services, they assume the role of protecting the Vitra Campus.

The Fire Station is the very first building complex designed by Zaha Hadid. It consists of spaces for fire engines, showers and changing rooms for the firemen as well as a conference room and a kitchenette. The sculpture-like building was cast in concrete on site. Positioned alongside the angular features of the neighbouring production facilities, it has the effect of a frozen explosion. Its lack of colour and right angles provides visitors with an unusual spatial experience.