23/10/2020 - The VitraHaus is the showroom, experimental area and flagship store of Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra. It has been completely redesigned for its tenth anniversary and Vitra is looking forward to welcoming visitors again every day from 12 to 5 pm from 17 August 2020. But the interiors redesigned by Charlap Hyman & Herrero can not only be experienced physically, but also virtually: On October 23, visitors can take part in a digital tour of the VitraHaus, where they can experience living rooms of fictitious characters, stroll through the library, the designer village and the sofa area and can discover furnishing ideas everywhere.
The virtual experience was born with the Vitra Summit 2020 (22.10 - 23.10), two days of digital exchange about how we can create sustainable environments - at home, in the office and on the go.
Originally conceived as a showroom for the Vitra Home Collection, the VitraHaus exemplifies the diversity of the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. The striking building designed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron is simultaneously an experimental laboratory and flagship store for the Swiss furniture manufacturer. The VitraHaus has been visited to date by 3.5 million people from all over the world. On the occasion of the building's tenth anniversary, Vitra is encapsulating the accumulated experiences and insights of the last decade in a new interior.
"The VitraHaus is a unique building that we have been working on for ten years now. During this time we have learned a lot - about the house and about interiors in general: What does the building want? What suits it? What are the recipes for a good room? What is missing in our collection to make an interior even more meaningful or attractive? The newly created interior reflects our answers to these questions", says Nora Fehlbaum, CEO of Vitra.
Fictional inhabitants and characters Over the past years, well-known interior designers such as Ilse Crawford, India Mandavi and Raw Edges have developed interiors for fictional residents in the VitraHaus loft on the top floor. To mark the building's ten-year anniversary, the US design studio Charlap Hyman & Herrero has now transformed the loft into the apartment of a film director. But other parts of the VitraHaus also showcase living areas furnished in different ways, inspired by the lives of imaginary occupants. A visit to the VitraHaus should encourage visitors to think about and experiment with their own home interiors, while also demonstrating Vitra's conviction that designing living spaces is always a deeply personal process.
While people retreated from the outside world into their homes this past year, Charlap Hyman & Herrero redesigned the loft of the VitraHaus as a lush landscape for living indoors; a surrealistic meditation on the tensions between inside and outside, public and private, old and new, modernity and adornment, uncanny and real. Binding the range of design pieces collected within is a thread of homages to artworks, films, characters, books and places that have captivated CHH since the firm's inception.
What emerges from this carefully calibrated network of references is a deeply personal space full of humour, remembrance and love. Fictional characters like Jean Floressas Des Esseintes from Huysman's A Rebours, Lidia Pontano from Antonioni's L'Eclisse and the artist from Cocteau's The Blood of a Poet, have left behind props from their most iconic scenes. The terrace's hand-shaped pillows and shell-trimmed topiary recall Dora Maar's photomontage of a hand crawling out of a shell. A writhing straw rug in the form of a snake, Verner Panton's Living Tower, a screen made of giant profiles and Noguchi's Freeform Sofa take on an abstract quality, like elements in a painting by Tanguy, dotting the expanse of mossy green carpet that visually extends into the hills beyond.
"In our office, we are inspired by characters in films and books and love to imagine the imprint that they leave on the spaces we create. The worlds that writers and directors conceive for the characters are a constant source of reference in our work", explains Adam Charlap Hyman. "Additionally, we sometimes think of ourselves as the directors of movies about our clients! As the loft is really our dream house it is a composite of so many fantasies we have had and influences on us over the years."
The new exhibit also showcases the classics of furniture design. On the entrance floor, next to the newly designed café and store, one can find the Lounge Chair Atelier where customers can configure their personal Eames Lounge Chair (classic from 1957) and follow its production.
The virtual tour of the VitraHaus takes place on 23 October 2020 from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. as part of 'Dynamic Spaces', one of the four sessions of the Vitra Summit. The tour is part of 'New Dynamics in the Home'.
Click here to discover the Vitra Summit events and many more!
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