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.