Vitra's Newest Space is a Furniture Fanatic's Fantasy
Since the opening of the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, in 1989, the campus has been a pilgrimage site for design devotees. But with a collection numbering 7,000 objects it's been nearly impossible for the museum to show (all) its stuff.
Now, with a new building designed by architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron—the same team behind London's Tate Modern, who are based just across the river in Basel, Switzerland—the Schaudepot adds more than 17,000 square feet of exhibition space on top of the site's original museum, which was designed by architect Frank Gehry.
The bulk of the Schaudepot will be dedicated to a permanent exhibition of more than 400 pieces of modern furniture ranging from 1800 to today, including everything from the earliest examples of bentwood to today's 3D-printed designs.
Though Gehry's museum building was meant as a home for the collection when it was built in 1989, the space has become a home for temporary exhibitions. The new structure solves that problem.
The name of the newest space roughly translates from the German Schaudepot to "viewing warehouse," and it aims to be just that—by giving Vitra a chance to display its world-class collection.
In addition to this canonical survey of modern design, the new Schaudepot will also feature special shows pegged to the collection. First up? "Radical Design," a look at the boundary-pushing innovations of the 1960s.
Vitra Schaudepot is located at Charles-Eames-Strasse 2, Weil am Rhein, Germany.