Herzog & de Meuron adds new gallery building to Vitra Design Museum


Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has completed a new gallery to house the permanent collection of the Frank Gehry-designed Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany.

Set to open in June, the Schaudepot is Herzog & de Meuron's second building at the Vitra Campus – the ever-growing headquarters of the Swiss furniture brand, which also features architecture by Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando and SANAA.

It will, for the first time, allow the Vitra Design Museum to create a permanent exhibition showcasing its vast collection, which includes over 7,000 pieces of furniture, and the estates of designers including Verner Panton, and Charles and Ray Eames.

It also provides a cafe and shop, along with a new entrance for museum visitors.

The Schaudepot will, for the first time, allow the Vitra Design Museum to permanently exhibit its vast collection. Photograph by Julien Lanoo

Herzog & de Meuron's first building at the campus was the VitraHaus – a spectacular furniture showroom comprising a vertical stack of five gabled blocks, mimicking the region's typical gabled houses.

In the same vein, Schaudepot looks like an oversized house, with brick walls and a symmetrical pitched roof.

Frank Gehry completed the Vitra Design Museum in 1989. It was the first major public building on the campus, and includes 700 square metres of exhibition space across four plain white galleries.

The original aim was to display the permanent collection in this building. But this has never been possible on a long-term basis, as the galleries have been used to host a series of large temporary exhibitions.

The Schaudepot will showcase more than 400 examples of furniture design from 1800 to the present. Photograph by Florian Boehm

The Schaudepot's exhibition will showcase more than 400 examples of furniture design from 1800 to the present. According to the museum, it will become "one of the world's largest permanent exhibitions and research facilities on modern furniture design".

It will also have space to host one temporary exhibition, in addition to the programme in the main building.

The Vitra Campus is located on the German side of the border shared with Switzerland and France. As well as cultural facilities, it accommodates Vitra's production and warehouse facilities.

Other recent additions to the campus include an office furniture showroom by London architect Pernilla Ohrstedt and Los Angeles designer Jonathan Olivares, and a cross between a viewing tower and a helter skelter by German artist Carsten Höller.

  • Guest

    I guess it’s what you do when you’ve nothing further to prove. Oh to be a go-to name on planet architecture.

  • Dee

    I think this looks like a solid piece of architecture from a solid firm. You know what you’re going to get with them.

  • picky

    This shadow is annoying ;)

  • papou


  • TFO

    It could be the photograph, but the lintel over the doorway… What’s with that discolouration?

    It will be nice to see some additional images to see if Gott is really in the details as suspected: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CHySSReWoAEGdXj.jpg

    Regardless, nice to see them still connected to their industrial roots.

    • NP

      They did the same effect with the brick in Unterlinden Museum. So this building is not using a new idea. The other one was already completed.

      • TFO

        That escaped my attention for whatever reason….Thanks for tip!

  • agagnu

    The un-glorified shed, made even more low-key with a central entrance as an ‘afterthought’, however oversized and ‘monumental’.
    Other openings get the brick header lintel detail but no, not this entrance,