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Vitra is a Swiss family-owned furniture company founded by Willi and Erika Fehlbaum. After WWII they moved the production facilities of their small furniture shop located in Biersfelden, Switzerland, to Weil am Rhein, Germany, and named their company Vitra. On his US trip in 1953, Willi Fehlbaum discovered the designs of Charles & Ray Eames. Subsequently, he acquired the production licenses through Herman Miller not only for Eames but also for George Nelson. In 1967 the Panton chair by Verner Panton was launched, the first cantilever chair made out of plastic. In 1977 son Rolf Fehlbaum took over and in 1984 the partnership with Herman Miller was terminated - without loosing the rights to designs by Charles & Ray Eames and George Nelson for Europe and the Middle East. Today, Vitra produces furniture for homes, offices and public areas. Their home collection includes not only classics by Charles & Ray Eames, Verner Panton and Alexander Girard but also pieces by designers such as Antonio Citterio, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Hella Jongerius to name just a few.
The Vitra Campus is always worth a day visit. At the VitraHaus, designed by Herzog & deMeuron, you get a chance to stroll around, explore your love for design and place an order for any design piece your heart desires. The Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum consistently features exquisite exhibits on the works by important designers such as Alvaro Aalto, Gerrit Rietveld, Charles & Ray Eames. And there is also a two-hour architectural tour (both in German and English), which gives you a closer look at the production facilities designed by a group of the most notable architects of today.
Vitra Campus Architecture
The architectural campus features following buildings:
Petrol Station, Jean Prouvé, ca. 1953/2003
Airstream Kiosk, 1968/2011
Dome, Richard Buckminster Fuller, 1978/2000
Factory Buildings, Nicholas Grimshaw, 1981/1986
Balancing Tools, Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen, 1984
Vitra Design Museum Gallery and Gate, Frank Gehry, 1989
Vitra Design Museum, Frank Gehry, 1989
Factory Building, Frank Gehry, 1989
Fire Station, Zaha Hadid, 1993
Conference Pavilion, Tadao Ando, 1993
Factory Building, Álvaro Siza, 1994
Bus Stop, Jasper Morrison, 2006
VitraHaus, Herzog & de Meuron, 2010
Diogene, Renzo Piano, 2013
Promenade, Álvaro Siza 2014
Vitra Slide Tower, Carsten Höller, 2014
My trip to Switzerland this year took me again beyond Zurich as well as the Swiss border not only to visit with family as well as friends but also to enjoy fabulous art and architecture ...
~ EUROPE BOUND over the East Bay and via Pfannenstiel ~
~ ZURICH in winter ~
Sunny but cold skies over old town and my Alma Mater.
~ ZURICH by night ~
Especially beautiful around the Holidays. The town is always looking so festive decked out with tons of Christmas lights.
~ ZURICH: University ~
Library at the Law Research Center, Santiago Calatrava 2004
~ ZURICH: Kunsthaus ~
Juan Miró Wall, Frieze, Mural - a fantastic exhibit on Juan Miró (1893-1983), a prolific artsit, whose oeuvre radiates an irresistible immediacy and material quality.
~ ZURICH: Museum Haus Konstruktiv ~
(Un)Ordnung. (Dés)Ordre was put together in honor of Vera Molnár's nineties birthday. Born in 1924 in Budapest, she has lived in Paris since 1960 and is considered one of the ground-breaking pioneers of computer and algorithmic arts. A delightful exhibit!
Learn more, check out Vera Molnar.
~ BERN: The Museum of Fine Arts ~
Toulouse-Lautrec and Photography is a comprehensive exhibit on Toulouse-Lautrec, which pulls you right into his world of fin-de-siècle Paris and his fascination with photography. While I enjoyed viewing his lithographies, I was very fascinated by his oil paintings and especially his drawings!
The second exhibit Embracing Sensation featured artist couple Silvia Gertsch (1963*) and Xerxes Ach (1957*). Each artist has their own artistic language regarding style, technique and materials. Gertsch's stained glass paintings are truly magnificent in technique and the way how they capture the sunlight - bestowing to them an almost spiritual glow. Whereas Ach's painting have a fascinating textural quality about them radiating off shades of beautifully rich and deep colors.
~ RIEHEN: Beyeler Foundation ~
A visit to the Beyeler Foudation is always a must. Designed by Renzo Piano, the museum was built from 1992 to 1997 and is situated in the park of the 18th century Villa Berower. Piano succeeded in immersing the building in the surrounding greenery while having it entirely lit by natural light.
In 1915/16 The Last Futurist Exhibition on Painting should prove to be one of the most influential exhibits in the history of modern art. It was here that Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) exhibit his Black Square. With In Search of 0,10 the Beyeler Foundation accomplished to put together yet again a brilliant exhibition, which is orchestrated into two parts: While 0,10 features most of the surviving works of the original show, Black Sun juxtaposes them with paintings, sculptures, installations and film of artists inspired as well as influenced by Malevich - such as Alexander Calder, Olafur Eliasson, Wassily Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra and many more. Loved it!
~ WEIL AM RHEIN: Vitra Design Museum ~
While in Basel, a quick drive to the Vitra Design is worth the detour!
Please also check out my blog on the Vitra Design Museum (December 13th, 2015) featuring more pictures of the campus and the Vitra Haus.
~ BASEL: Basler Minster ~
Landmark of the city of Basel, the minster was built in red sandstone between 1019 and 1500 in Romanesque and Gothic styles. The so-called Galluspforte is one of the oldest Romanesque Tympana in the German hemisphere and dates back to 1185.
~ ULM: Ulm Minster ~
The minster is the tallest church in the world, with a steeple measuring 161 meter. We climbed all the 768 steps of the spiraling staircase to the top to enjoy the magnificent view of view Baden-Wurttemberg and Neu-Ulm Bavaria. The foundation stone was laid in 1377 and construction lasted; but is was not until 1890 that the building was completed. The church consists of five naves, the main with a height of 41 meter being almost three times high as it is wide. The stained glass windows are stunning, and so are the wood sculptures of the choir seating.
~ ULM: Die Malweiber von Paris at the Edwin Scharff Museum ~
A inspiring exhibition about German women artists of the early 1900s, who had the fortune to study art in Paris, at a time when it was considered indecent for a woman to develop artistic ambitions in Germany. Maria Slavonia (1865-1931) especially caught, especially her two self-portraits from 1887 and 1910 respectively (center: Houses at Montmartre 1900, oil on carton detail).
~ VASMEGYE ~
A visit to Hungary is always a treat. This time my travels took me to my relatives on the Western border, where I got treated like royalty, was served heaps of delicious food and shlepped all over the region: Meszlen, Szombathely downtown and art museum, Köszeg downtown and Sacred Heart Church, Novákfalva in Velem.... Köszönom szépen a kedves vendéglátast!
~ HOMEWARD BOUND over the Canadian Rockies to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area ~
The Maison l'Homme of Zurich, Switzerland, today the Centre Le Corbusier / Heidi Weber Museum, is an inspiring art museum, which I always make a point of visiting when I am back home.
The center was commissioned on the initiative of Heidi Weber, owner of the interior design gallery Mezzanin. She met Le Corbusier (Charles-Eduard Jeanneret, 1887- 1965) in 1958 in Roquebrune Cap Martin and maintained a close professional relationship with the architect throughout last years of his life.
Thanks to her inspiration and tenacity, Le Corbusier completed his sketch of the kind of dream house he had been working on since 1950. Heidi Weber's vision was a museum / an exhibition hall serving as the perfect space to house Le Corbusier's works of art - a Gesamtkunstwerk reflecting all aspects of his oeuvre: architecture, sculptures, paintings, furniture, design and theoretical writings in unified harmony. Construction began in 1964. The center was completed in 1967, after the death of Le Corbusier.
To learn more, visit Heidi Weber Museum.
With our hometown being out base, this trip took us to beautiful Alsace and Burgundy to enjoy fabulous wines, delicious food and medieval architecture.
~ EUROPE BOUND over the North Bay ~
~ ZURICH on a rainy day ~
~ ZURICH on a sunny day ~
~ ZURICH: Reliefs at the Grossmünster ~
~ BASEL: Kristof Kintera at The Museum Tinguely ~
The museum was designed by Mario Botta and opened in 1996. It houses a permanent collection of the works of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), whose kinetic sculptures never fail to delight the young and the old to this day. Therefore the Museum Tinguely provides a fitting backdrop to the works by Czech artist and sculptor Kristof Kintera (1973*).
~ ALSACE ~
~ BURGUNDY ~
Please feel free to check out also my blog on the Abbeye of Fontenay (September 02, 2014).
~ HOMEWARD BOUND TO THE BEAUTIFUL SF BAY AREA ~
I always enjoy exploring medieval churches as well as abbeys. St. George's Abbey in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland, is one of my favorite places to visit.
As a former Benedict monastery founded in 970, it has a rich history to look back on. The banquet hall, containing the frescos commissioned by David von Winkelsheim (dating from around 1515) are a must-see and are considered to be the earliest proof of Renaissance influence in northern Switzerland. The cloisters are equally note-worthy. In 1525 the abbey was secularized. In 1927 the property underwent an extensive restoration and was eventually turned into a museum. St. George's abbey is a wonderful place in order to immerse yourself into the monastic life of the Late Middle Ages.
To learn more, visit Kloster St. Georgen.
This was a long awaited dream of mine. On our recent Euro trip we made it all the way up to Berlin and spent an entire day, if not two, on the Museumsinsel, devoting most of the time to The Neues Museum. It was built from 1843 to 1855 according to the plans by Friedrich August Stüler (1800-1865), a student of the prominent Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). Over the decades, time took a heavy toll on the museum and it was in danger of being demolished. In 1997, David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap were chosen to overview the rebuilding and renovating of this UNESCO world heritage site. The museum officially reopened in 2009.
I thoroughly enjoyed wandering through the museum and catching myself time and again being more fascinated by the renovation than by the actually art collection itself. I loved how Chipperfield and Harrap accomplished to gently restore and touch up the building while leaving murals, mosaics, columns or sculptured unfinished or just filled in and juxtaposing them with modern materials.