Segments in this Video

Vitra Modern Furniture Company (00:59)


In 1957, the Fehlbaums established Vitra with the European furniture rights of Charles and Ray Eames. The Swiss campus includes a Fuller Dome and Frank Gehry's Design Museum.

Pritzker Prize Winning Architects (00:60)

For the 2004 Home Collection, Rolf Fehlbaum chose architects Herzog & de Meuron who worked on the Beijing "Bird's Nest," Ricola buildings and London's Tate Modern.

House Made of Houses (03:37)

Jacques Herzog discusses the structure comprised of five stories of 12 superimposed houses with slanting roofs and glass gables in a loose pyramid.

Vitrahaus Concrete Construction (03:22)

The outer skin of the buildings is monochrome. The walls are reinforced concrete, each house sits on the parallel walls of another; their extensions create a floating effect.

Ground Floor Public Space (02:12)

Openings at every level allow light and provide public space. Only two windows open on the interior walls. The five ground floor houses include the public services.

Exhibition Areas (04:16)

The seven houses vary only in length and display furniture. The glass gables face all directions. Herzog notes that the simple architecture echoes the region.

Passageways (03:37)

The architects opened the areas where volumes intersected, allowing passage to the next house. Occasional open balconies look down to other levels connected by a spiral staircase.

Rounded Organic Forms (02:48)

The elevator well is the only vertical axis in the building; it houses the requisite fire escape. Visitors ascend and descend stairs following the slanting roofs of the houses.

Architects' Concept (02:23)

Herzog discusses the architects' intention to create a sculptural and complex result, a concept given to the space. At night the complexity disappears and the sculpture appears.

Credits: Vitrahaus: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture (01:01)

Credits: Vitrahaus: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

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Vitrahaus: Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture

Part of the Series : Architectures—Achievements in Modern Architecture
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $149.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $224.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $149.95



In 2006, the company Vitra asked two Swiss architects, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, to design a building in Germany, to showcase the furniture of their new "Home" collection, and to include a show-room, a restaurant and a shop. The result was not one building, but twelve. These houses, each with a sloping roof,  are stacked at odd angles over five levels. Inspired by the traditional house of the region, all the houses are similar except for their length, width, and height. The building was finished in 2009.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL65340

ISBN: 978-1-60057-651-5

Copyright date: ©2011

Closed Captioned

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