Although Zaha Hadid began her remarkable architectural career in the late 1970s, it would not be until the 1990s that her work would lift out her drawings and paintings to be realized in physical form. The Vitra Fire Station, designed for the factory complex of the same name in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, was the among the first of Hadid’s design projects to be built. The building’s obliquely intersecting concrete planes, which serve to shape and define the street running through the complex, represent the earliest attempt to translate Hadid’s fantastical, powerful conceptual drawings into a functional architectural space.
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
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: concrete. Check out the projects after the break...
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
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.