Mexico, Switzerland and their constituent art collectors are in a tug-of-war over the coveted professional archive of late, famed hero Luis Barragán – considered one of Mexico’s greatest architects. After his death, the heads of the Swiss furniture company, Vitra, bought a collection of Barragán’s personal designs and images, leaving those in Mexico puzzled as to why the archive ever left the country from which his work is rooted. “It would be as if the ‘rights’ for Frank Lloyd Wright or Louis Kahn were held and managed from another country, ruling over their work and limiting access to the American public.” Read the full article here, “Tug of War Stretches Architect’s Legacy“.
From the architect. Over the years, furniture company Vitra has made a name for itself as one of the most architecturally-enlightened companies in the world, with their renowned campus featuring buildings by Nicholas Grimshaw, Frank Gehry, Alvaro Siza, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA.
Now, Vitra has announced a collaboration with Renzo Piano that will bridge the gap between their sought-after furniture and their bespoke campus. Diogene, a self contained minimal living space with a floor area of just 2.5 x 3.0 meters, is billed as “Vitra’s smallest building – but largest product”.
More about the design of Diogene after the break
Over the years the Vitra Campus has become an architecture museum, featuring works by the most renowned architects: Frank Ghery, Zaha Hadid, Alvaro Siza, Tadao Ando, Jean Pruvé, Nicholas Grimshaw, Buckminster Fuller and SANAA (under construction).
The latest addition to the complex is the VitraHaus building, a series of stacked pitched-roof boxed, designed by Herzog & de Meuron for Vitra’s Home Collection:
This past weekend, we were invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Panton chair and other Vitra creations at their showroom in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan. The showroom was buzzing with people socializing and viewing the different designs on the showroom’s staggered levels. We were especially excited to see Alejandro Aravena’s novel “Chairless“, a strap of fabric that is a way to eliminate the need for the traditional chair, and yet allows the person to become the integral part of the furniture. Inspired by the Ayoreo Indians who sit on the ground with a tight strap around their back, Aravena developed this concept to produce a seating device that relieves the spine and legs. “It is obvious that many things have evolved since the beginning of time and that progress has accumulated in our lives in the form of sophisticated needs and desires. But it is also true that there are many things and needs that haven’t changed much since our origins and they can still be satisfied in an extremely simple way: sitting comfortably on the ground is one of them,” explained Aravena.
More about Vitra after the break.
Iwan Baan has always amazed us with his photos, capturing the essence of several projects around the world. But Iwan has also been exploring with virtual panoramas (I remember some OMA buildings at Domus, included on a CD).
Via @vitra I found that Iwan used this technique on the VitraHaus building by Herzog & de Meuron, which you can now explore from your computer to get a better idea about the spatial relations between these stacked volumes.
Follow this link to take the virtual tour.
Architects: Alejandro Aravena
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Project team: Alejandro Aravena + Ricardo Torrejón + Víctor Oddó
Partner Architects in Germany: Osolin Plüss
Models: Ricardo Torrejón
Built Area: 600 sqm
Renders: Víctor Oddó
Also, Alejandro Aravena shared with us the Sketchup model that you can download here
Architect: Marcio Kogan
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Design Year: 2006
Construction Year: 2007
Co-author: Bruno Gomes, Bruno Guedes
Collaborators: Diana Radomysler, Oswaldo Pessano, Renata Furlanetto, Samanta Cafardo, Suzana Glogowski, Lair Reis, Carolina Castroviejo, Eduardo Glycerio, Maria Cristina Motta, Gabriel Kogan, Mariana Simas
Site Area: 504 sqm
Constructed Area: 250 sqm
Contractor: Pentágono Engenharia
Photographs: Fran Parente, Nelson Kon