Found project: Vitra Design Museum

    Project : Vitra Design Museum

    Architect : Gehry, Frank

    Completion: 1989

    Locality : Weil am Rhein

    Country : Germany

    Building style : Deconstructivism

    Project on the map (green arrow)

    Description :

    The museum building, an architectural attraction in its own right, was Frank O. Gehry’s first building in Europe, realised in cooperation with the Lörrach architect Günter Pfeifer. Together with the museum, which was originally just designed to house Rolf Fehlbaum’s private collection, Gehry also built a more functional-looking production hall and a gatehouse for the close-by Vitra factory.

    Although Gehry used his trademark sculptural deconstructivist style for the museum building, he did not opt for his usual mix of materials, but limited himself to white plaster and a titanium-zinc alloy. For the first time, he allowed curved forms to break up his more usual angular shapes. The sloping white forms appear to echo the Notre Dame du Haut chapel by Le Corbusier in Ronchamp, France, not far from Weil.

    Architecture critic Paul Heyer described the general impression on the visitor as “... a continuous changing swirl of white forms on the exterior, each seemingly without apparent relationship to the other, with its interiors a dynamically powerful interplay, in turn directly expressive of the exterior convolutions. As a totality it resolves itself into an entwined coherent display...” (June 20, 2011).

    Ed. Heikki Nikkinen

    Images 1-2 of 2
    Vitra Design Museum
    Vitra Design Museum
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski

    Vitra Design Museum
    Vitra Design Museum
    Image © Arto Kuorikoski