What do you do when you have too many possessions? When a garage sale isn’t particularly feasible as the subject people in question are one of the most influential design museums ever, Vitra only have one option and that is to build a new storage complex. Located in Weil-Am-Rhein’s Vitra Campus and designed by SATORI & SCOUT’s favourite Herzog & de Meuron, the Schaudepot is home to a very unique presentation of its key pieces, all carefully picked from the Vitra Design Museum collection.
A new permanent gallery for the vast collection currently found at the Frank Gehry-designed Vitra Design Museum, the building is nothing short of a time-telling design. Within the modest structure that has no windows or external features except its gabled roof and brick materiality, over 7,000 pieces of furniture and the estates of designers such as Verner Panton and Charles and Ray Eames reside. Whilst most of the collection is stored in a basement, as you can see from the photo gallery, the storage hall’s above-ground collection showcase is nothing short of remarkable. Originally home to a sawtooth-profile factory building, the site has been revitalised by the much improved exhibition hall, and the modest design stems from head of Vitra’s Rolf Fehlbaum’s brief of “…not wanting to make any new architectural statements on the Vitra Campus, particularly in the wake of the financial crisis.” Despite wishing for a extension to the below-ground basement, the architects convinced him that an above-ground facility would be less costly given the situation.
With a slender roof and luxurious brick materials upon a clay plinth, there is very little variation in material colour and this uniformality is really quite powerful architecturally. With the bricks handmade rather than machined, much of the building’s design draws comparison to Herzog & De Meuron’s first building at the campus, the VitraHaus.
As explained by architect co-founder Jacques Herzog, “…the Vitra Campus is characterised by its architectural diversity, which reflects Rolf Fehlbaum’s insatiable curiosity and love for contemporary architecture and design.” With products designs that date back to 1800, the hall also has space for temporary exhibitions, and is absolutely worth a visit should you find yourself in Germany anytime soon.
Discover more about Vitra Design Museum at Design-Museum.de.