Do you know Vitra? It is a Swiss company manufacturing design furniture. A real reference for design lovers! Good news, Vitra is located in Weil-am-Rhein, Germany, right on the border with France and Switzerland. It is thus very easy during a stay in Alsace to go there. The factory itself cannot be visited (it’s a secret!) but the Vitra campus is an exceptional place that deserves to be visited: it has a huge showroom as well as exhibition spaces but is also known for its architecture. Renowned international architects such as Franck Gehry, Zaha Hadid or Herzog & de Meuron have built various buildings on the campus. Really incredible! Design and/or architecture lovers, this visit is definitely worth adding to your program.
But then, what can we see at Vitra? Lots of things! The hardest part for me was understanding how it all fit together. You can take a guided tour of the campus architecture, visit the VitraHaus (a huge showroom), visit the Vitra Museum (which features temporary exhibitions exclusively) but also visit the Schaudepot (which features major chairs and armchairs from the Vitra Design Museum collection). For my part, I chose to spend a day and do it all, except for the museum which was closed due to a new temporary exhibition coming up. And I really enjoyed my visit!
The architectural tour is well worth it and provides access to areas of the campus not otherwise accessible. It allows you to see a wide variety of different buildings: it’s a real open-air museum of architecture! Really impressive. I also loved the VitraHaus: it is a large showroom, which is also visited as a rich museum with remarkable architecture (yes, again!). The Vitra furniture is very well presented in various settings and one can really walk around with pleasure and interest. I for one am always fascinated by the creativity of designers! Finally, the Schaudepot is also interesting because it presents chairs and armchairs from the Vitra collection since 1800. Here, no particular staging of objects, which are presented on large shelves, but a focus on the evolution of design according to periods.
For a break in the middle of the day, I recommend the Café located in the VitraHaus. It is a superb place (design, of course) and offering a quality cuisine. We would spend the afternoon there if there were not so many things to see elsewhere! Finally, if you feel like bringing back a Vitra object, go to the store located on the ground floor of the VitraHaus: the prices are exorbitant (it’s design, you know!), but there are plenty of (very) beautiful things! It’s worth going there even without buying anything…
- Temple of Design
- VitraHaus free access (and it’s great!)
- Remarkable architecture
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My photos of the Vitra Campus
Rates and schedules
You can find the prices and opening hours of the Vitra Campus here. Good news, access to the VitraHaus is free. If you want to see the VitraHaus, avoid going on a Sunday (the museum and the Schaudepot are open, however).
The address is as follows: Charles-Eames-Straße 2, 79576 Weil am Rhein, Germany. You have to count:
- 7km from Basel (about 15 minutes)
- 42km from Mulhouse (about 35 minutes)
- 65km from Colmar (about 50 minutes)
- 140km from Strasbourg (about 1h30)
By public transport
You can find information on how to get to the Vitra Campus by public transportation here.
If you are hungry, go to the Café in the VitraHaus. Beautiful and good! 😉