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Vitra: The Latest Architecture and News

5th Istanbul Design Biennial Opens to the Public

The 5th Istanbul Design Biennial has opened to the public, both digitally and physically. Curated by Mariana Pestana with Sumitra Upham and Billie Muraben, the Biennial brings together different formats of display under the theme Empathy Revisited. The biennial launches with interventions in a range of exhibition venues, outdoor spaces in Istanbul and digital platforms.

Courtesy of Istanbul Design BiennialCourtesy of Istanbul Design BiennialCourtesy of Istanbul Design BiennialCourtesy of Istanbul Design Biennial+ 6

5th Istanbul Design Biennial Announces Participants and New Dates

New details have been released on the 5th Istanbul Design Biennial. Curated by Mariana Pestana with Sumitra Upham and Billie Muraben, the Biennial aims to open on October 15, 2020. A new structure will bring together different formats of display under the theme Empathy Revisited, and the designs will include interventions in a range of exhibition venues, outdoor spaces and digital platforms.

Vitra Design Museum Explores 200 Years of Chair Design

Vitra Design Museum has debuted Chair Times, a 90-minute film that describes the history of seating furniture. Focusing on 125 objects from the collection of the Museum, the film explores the development of chairs over centuries, examining them as “portraits of their users.” Arranged according to their year of production, they are organized to form a timeline of modern seating design.

AD Classics: Vitra Fire Station / Zaha Hadid

This article was originally published on April 21, 2016. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.

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.

©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet ©  Helene Binet + 24

Gallery: Herzog & de Meuron's Schaudepot at the Vitra Campus Photographed by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Earlier this summer, the Vitra Schaudepot on the Vitra Campus was officially opened. The latest in a string of structures designed by emerging and well-known architects, this gallery space is the second building by Swiss-practice Herzog & de Meuron. Conceived as "a visible storage facility" presenting a cross-section of the Vitra Design Museum's extensive collection of furniture and lighting, over 400 objects will provide "a comprehensive introduction to the history of furniture design." Featuring a café, shop and a new entrance for visitors to the museum, the building is also able to host temporary exhibitions. Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has turned his lens to this latest addition in Weil am Rhein.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu© Laurian Ghinitoiu+ 32

Vitra Campus Adds A Viewing Tower With a Slide

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

Vitra Slide Tower / Carsten Höller. Image © VitraVitra Slide Tower / Carsten Höller. Image © VitraVitra Slide Tower / Carsten Höller. Image © VitraVitra Slide Tower / Carsten Höller. Image © Vitra+ 8

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: concrete. Check out the projects after the break...

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

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".

Diogene / Renzo Piano

Text description provided by the architects. 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

© Renzo PianoPhotography by Julien Lanoo © VitraPhotography by Julien Lanoo © VitraPhotography by Julien Lanoo © Vitra+ 9

Vitra Showroom

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.