In june 2016, the vitra campus welcomes a building designed by basel-based architecture studio Herzog & De Meuron. Named the Vitra Schaudepot, the structure provides the institution with a venue for publicly presenting key objects from its extensive collection. As part of the scheme, a second entry point to the site is created, enhancing connections to the neighboring cities of basel and weil am rhein.
The centerpiece of Herzog & De Meuron’s design is a permanent exhibition of more than 400 key pieces of modern furniture design, dating from 1800 to the present day. The objects shown include early bentwood furniture, icons of classical modernism by Le Corbusier, Alvar Aalto and Gerrit Rietveld, along with colorful plastic objects from the pop era, and recent designs produced with a 3D printer. This presentation is complemented by smaller temporary exhibitions on themes related to the collection, beginning with a look at the ‘Radical Design’ movement of the 1960s. On the lower ground level, the building offers insights into additional focal points of the collection, such as scandinavian and italian design, the lighting collection, and the estate of charles and ray eames.
With the opening of the ‘Schaudepot’, the Vitra Design Museum is expanding both its exhibition space and its program. Frank Gehry’s Museum building will continue to be used for the large-scale temporary exhibitions, while the vitra design museum gallery shows smaller, experimental projects. The ‘Schaudepot’ displays the permanent exhibition as well as one temporary exhibition, forming one of the world’s largest permanent exhibitions and research facilities on modern furniture design.