i’m back from a fabulous long weekend spent in the swiss city of basel and boy, was it a much-needed, lovely sunshine-y break! but i can certainly say that i did, just as eames instructs, “take my pleasures seriously!”
there will be more posts on basel itself to come (including the reason i was there!), but today i wanted to share with you the wonder that is the vitrahaus, which i’ve longed to visit for a number of years. lying just across the swiss border into germany, it was built by swiss architects herzog & de meuron and serves as vitra’s flagship store and home to the vitra home collection.
the imposing five-storey building consists of stacked volumes with pitched roofs covered in charcoal stucco, and the offical tour begins in the 4th floor loft, offering stunning view of the tüllinger hill to one side, and panoramic views across basel to the other.
as a huge fan of vitra design, exploring the myriad of impeccably styled “stacked houses” was akin to being a kid in a candy store: inspiration overload!
the interior space has been designed to offer a place in which people can explore and heighten their sense of modern design, as well as offering an opportunity to engage in the work of some of the world’s leading designers. indeed, it was certainly fun to test out iconic seating designs such as the eames lounge chair, george nelson coconut chair and the panton heart cone chair in such a relaxed and informal environment and imagine what it would be like to have such a design classic in your own home.
each of the ‘houses’ contain showrooms which have been set-up to resemble residential settings and i marvelled at the beauty of so many of these as i wandered around, soaking up a wealth of design and styling inspiration, while the glorious sunshine helped add a wash of dreamlike fantasy to the tour. i fell in love all over again with jean prouvé cité chair, and lusted after the butterfly stools by sori yanagi. then there were the incidental styling details to swoon over; utilising stylish modern design items by brands such as hay.dk, lladro, alessi and lars beller fjetland, and further adding to my fantasy wish list!
after my trip to the vitra head office in new york last year, i’ve harboured a not-so-secret love of their office culture designs as well, particularly their workbays and conversational meeting hubs – how fun would it be to work in an open plan, high design office such as the one these adorable kids are testing out below? as vitra themselves say, the office has become a marketplace of knowledge and a venue for social interaction – it is no longer “just” for working.
i’ll leave you digesting these beautiful images awhile, and ask, which is your favourite vitra design piece? i couldn’t come up with just 1 myself, so here are 8 of my favourites to swoon over…
vitrahaus, ray-eames-str. 1, d-79576 weil am rhein, germany