(above: models, renders, and drawings I photographed from the construction trailer set up on-site at the Vitra complex in April 2008.)
Vitra! So you’ve been to the MOMA and the many Guggenheims around the world (I’ve been to all of them (from NYC to Venice and from Berlin to Bilbao), btw!) and you think you know what a good museum is and you then walk across the border from Basel, Switzerland to Weil am Rhein, Germany and there it is: VITRA! In the middle of a series of cornfields (seriously, I had mud caked on my Czech-made Bat’a shoes from hiking from the town out to this campus in the middle of nowehere!) sits the most glorious collection of art, design, and architecture! Gehry was so much better before he was discovered (see below), and Zaha’s fire station isn’t bad either, but I am most looking forward to the new Vitra Haus by Herzog & de Meuron to be completed in 2010 (above). Literally a pick-up-sticks inspired smattering of “houses” it will be the new showcase and shopping center for all of Vitra’s fabulous home goods! I cannot wait to go back, with hiking boots, of course!
(above: ranking up there with my top five picks for “best public art” in front of Gehry’s early masterpiece. How could I resist making this face?!)
(above: the ONLY public bathroom in Gehry’s Vitra Design Museum! Seriously! Gehry needs someone on his team that pays attention to the little things that make a huge difference to someone who has trekked across country borders to get to this museum! And this is directly accessible from the entrance! The horror!)
(above: we spent the better part of the morning photographing this museum under a grey sky and just as we were about to head back to civilization (and the bizarre but delicious, Moroccan/Betty Boop influenced creperie on the German side just a few kilometers from France) the sun miraculously appeared!)