The museum building, an architectural attraction in its own right, was Frank O. Gehry's first building in Europe, realised in cooperation with the Lörrach architect Günter Pfeifer. Together with the museum, which was originally just designed to house Rolf Fehlbaum's private collection, Gehry also built a more functional-looking production hall and a gatehouse for the close-by Vitra factory.
Although Gehry used his trademark sculptural deconstructivist style for the museum building, he did not opt for his usual mix of materials, but limited himself to white plaster and a titanium-zinc alloy. For the first time, he allowed curved forms to break up his more usual angular shapes. The sloping white forms appear to echo the Notre Dame du Haut chapel by Le Corbusier in Ronchamp, France, not far from Weil.
Architecture critic Paul Heyer described the general impression on the visitor as“... a continuous changing swirl of white forms on the exterior, each seemingly without apparent relationship to the other, with its interiors a dynamically powerful interplay, in turn directly expressive of the exterior convolutions. As a totality it resolves itself into an entwined coherent display...”
The building backs the factory fence and is embedded in a meadow adorned with cherry trees. Claes Oldenburg's prominent sculpture Balancing Tools provides a colourful contrast, while Tadao Ando's nearby conference pavilion gives a more muted one.
Read more about this topic: Vitra Design Museum
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“Little Bill Daggett: I dont deserve this. To die like this. I was building a house.
Will Munny: Deserves got nothing to do with it.”
—David Webb Peoples, screenwriter. Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman)
“The Museum is not meant either for the wanderer to see by accident or for the pilgrim to see with awe. It is meant for the mere slave of a routine of self-education to stuff himself with every sort of incongruous intellectual food in one indigestible meal.”
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