Imaginer des bâtiments construits par des architectes qui n’étaient, avant la gloire large, pas tous si reconnus. Retrouver Nicolas Grenshaw, Alvaro Siza, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, Jean Prouvé, Richard Buckminster Fuller et bientôt Herzog & de Meuron sur quelques hectares à Weil am Rhein, en Allemagne aux portes de Basel, où Vitra implante ses usines d’assemblage, son Musée et son centre de séminaire.
S’assoir avec art, se rendre au coin des 3 frontières au bord du Rhin et se rappeler que le design est la rencontre entre des fonctions, des formes, des matières et des lumières : « Following a major fire in 1981, the company Vitra has pursued a conscious approach to its own architecture, starting with the commission awarded to the English architect Nicholas Grimshaw to build a new factory hall. His high-tech architecture was seen as upholding the vision of Vitra as an enterprise synonymous with technical excellence.
After completion of the first structure, he was assigned the task of developing a master plan for the Vitra grounds. This idea of « corporate identity architecture » was called into question, however, by the 1984 erection of the sculpture « Balancing Tools » by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. It served as the trigger for an entirely new architectural concept: deliberately contrasting works of architecture were to confront one another and imbue the site with vitality and a distinctive identity. In keeping with this idea, Vitra commissioned a different architect for each building project. Such as Frank O. Gehry, for example, who designed the expressive main building of the Vitra Design Museum with its towers, ramps and cubes that was dedicated on 3 November 1989.«