herzog & de meuron expands VITRA campus with schaudepot exhibition space
image © VITRA design museum, julien lanoo




in june 2016, the VITRA campus welcomes a building designed by basel-based architecture studio herzog & de meuron. named the vitra schaudepot, the structure provides the institution with a venue for publicly presenting key objects from its extensive collection. as part of the scheme, a second entry point to the site is created, enhancing connections to the neighboring cities of basel and weil am rhein.


VITRA’s collection ranks among the most important holdings of furniture design worldwide. it contains around 7,000 pieces of furniture, more than 1,000 lighting objects and numerous archives, as well as the estates of such designers as charles & ray eames, verner panton and alexander girard. although the main museum building by frank gehry from 1989 was originally conceived to house the collection, the space is primarily used to stage major exhibitions. consequently, until now, the museum’s collection has never been on permanent display.

the ‘schaudepot’ will display the permanent exhibition as well as one temporary exhibition
image © VITRA design museum, julien lanoo




the centerpiece of herzog & de meuron’s design is a permanent exhibition of more than 400 key pieces of modern furniture design, dating from 1800 to the present day. the objects shown include early bentwood furniture, icons of classical modernism by le corbusier, alvar aalto and gerrit rietveld, along with colorful plastic objects from the pop era, and recent designs produced with a 3D printer. this presentation is complemented by smaller temporary exhibitions on themes related to the collection, beginning with a look at the ‘radical design’ movement of the 1960s. on the lower ground level, the building offers insights into additional focal points of the collection, such as scandinavian and italian design, the lighting collection, and the estate of charles and ray eames.

the structure provides a venue for presenting key objects from the extensive VITRA collection
image © VITRA design museum, florian boehm




with the opening of the ‘schaudepot’, the VITRA design museum is expanding both its exhibition space and its program. frank gehry’s museum building will continue to be used for the large-scale temporary exhibitions, while the VITRA design museum gallery shows smaller, experimental projects. the ‘schaudepot’ displays the permanent exhibition as well as one temporary exhibition, forming one of the world’s largest permanent exhibitions and research facilities on modern furniture design.



project info:


architects: herzog & de meuron, basel
interior design: dieter thiel, basel
curatorial concept: mateo kries, janna lipsky
project management: marc zehntner
head of collection: susanne graner
curators of collection: serge mauduit, heng zhi
content coordination: jolanthe kugler
graphics: onlab, berlin
total floor space of schaudepot: approx 1,600 sqm
objects in permanent exhibition: approx. 410
exhibitions per year: 1 permanent exhibition, 3 temporary exhibitions