Architecture Design Industry_

Der Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein spiegelt eine unverwechselbare Unternehmensphilosophie wider, die Architektur, Design und Industrie zu einer Einheit verbindet. Auf dem Gelände des Vitra Campus entstand ein Ensemble von Bauten herausragender Architekten, das 1989 mit der Eröffnung des Vitra Design Museums begann. Dieses Jahr feiert das inzwischen weltbekannte Museum sein 25-jähriges Jubiläum. Die Ausstellung bei Aedes in Berlin gibt einen Einblick in die kontinuierliche, wegweisende Auseinandersetzung des Unternehmens Vitra mit der zeitgenössischen Architektur.

The Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein has a unique history and reflects the distinctive philosophy of the company, in which architecture, design and industry form a single entity. In thirty years, the grounds of the Vitra Campus have given rise to an ensemble of buildings by outstanding architects, which clearly illustrates the high standards of architecture held by the longstanding Vitra chairman, Rolf Fehlbaum. Within the last decades he has been collaborating intensively with architects and designers, using his keen instinct to discover and support great talent.

With the opening of the Vitra Design Museum in 1989, the development of the Vitra Campus began as a global pilgrimage site for architecture and design enthusiasts. This year, the now worldwide known museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Also the connection between Aedes and Vitra began with the opening of this building: in the summer of 1989 Aedes showcased an exhibition as a dedication to the architecture of the museum, which was the first building of the Californian architect Frank Gehry on European ground. It is therefore a particular pleasure for us to celebrate this anniversary with an exhibition at Aedes in Berlin and to provide an insight into the continual, pioneering engagement of the company with contemporary architecture.

The history of the Vitra Campus began with a major fire at the production site in 1981, in which almost half of the manufacturing buildings were destroyed. Rolf Fehlbaum developed from this an ambitious architectural concept for the company site. The first realised building was a new production hall by Nicolas Grimshaw (1981). It was followed by the Vitra Design Museum (1989) Fehlbaum began to pursue the work with international architects. From this cooperation followed the Conference Pavilion by Tadao Ando (1993), who was thereby able to realise his first building outside of Japan. For Zaha Hadid (1993) the Fire Station was the beginning of her built oeuvre. Step by step a collage of further individual buildings by well-known architects was developed, including works by Richard Buckminster Fuller and T.C. Howard (2000), Herzog & de Meuron (2010), SANAA (2012), Álvaro Siza (1994, 2014) and others. Today the uniqueness of the Vitra Campus makes it a place of pilgrimage for all visitors interested in architecture and design. The latest project is a viewing tower by the artist Carsten Höller, which was opened in June 2014.

“The Vitra site would not have become a place if we had conceived of it as a purely industrial location. But the fact that production takes place on site is just as important as the cultural activities. The interaction and encounter between the different aspects gives the place its liveliness.”  Rolf Fehlbaum

The exhibition was conceptualised by Aedes and designed by Double Standards.

The publication ‘The Vitra Campus – Architecture Design Industry’, Vitra Design Museum GmbH, Weil am Rhein 2013 is on show and available for purchase in the exhibition.

Speaking at the opening
Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss, Aedes Berlin
Rolf Fehlbaum, Vitra Chairman Emeritus
Mateo Kries, Director Vitra Design Museum

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