Vitra Campus Adds A Viewing Tower With a Slide

Slide Tower / . Image © Vitra

Adding to the world-famous collection of buildings and structures at its campus in Weil am Rhein, Vitra has just unveiled its latest project, a viewing tower and slide designed by Carsten Höller. Located on the Alvaro Siza-designed promenade linking Herzog & de Meuron‘s Vitrahaus with Zaha Hadid‘s Fire Station, the new tower offers two ways to see the Vitra Campus as never before: from above, looking out over the other buildings at the tower’s viewing platform; and on the dizzying descent, as the transparent roof to the slide gives fleeting views of the buildings around you.

More on the Vitra Slide Tower after the break

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Concrete

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we’ve rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: . Check out the projects after the break…

Mexico & Swizterland in Tug-of-War Over Luis Barragán Archive

Gilardi House. Image © Flickr user, Elena_mch

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 ’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“.

Diogene / Renzo Piano

Photography by Julien Lanoo © Vitra

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

VitraHaus / Herzog & de Meuron

Photography by , ©

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:

AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid

© Wojtek Gurak

After a devastating fire in 1981 that crippled the Vitra design campus in , Germany, Vitra began an extensive mission to rebuild the campus as well as redesign the masterplan, which was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw. Almost a decade after the devastating fire in 1981, the company sought an architect to build a fire station for the Vitra campus to thwart any future reoccurrences and commissioned Zaha Hadid.  Completed in 1993, the Vitra fire station would be Hadid’s first realized project of her career, which would eventually launch her name and style to an international audience.

The Vitra fire station is Hadid’s showcased work that delves into the deconstructivist theoretical language that she developed through her paintings as a conceptual mediator of finding spatial relationships and form.  The Vitra fire station is a synthesis of philosophy and architecture that bridges the Vitra design campus to its surrounding context.

More on the Vitra Fire Station after the break.

Vitra Showroom

Chairless by Aravena

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 after the break.

VitraHaus virtual tour

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.

Vitra Children Workshop / Alejandro Aravena Architects

080828_vitra_02-copy

Architects: Alejandro Aravena
Location: Zurich,
Project team: Alejandro Aravena + Ricardo Torrejón + Víctor Oddó
Partner Architects in : Osolin Plüss
Models: Ricardo Torrejón
Built Area: 600 sqm
Project: 2008
Renders: Víctor Oddó

Also, Alejandro Aravena shared with us the Sketchup model that you can download here

Volume B store / Marcio Kogan

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
Client: Vitra
Site Area: 504 sqm
Constructed Area: 250 sqm
Contractor: Pentágono Engenharia
Photographs: Fran Parente, Nelson Kon