Vitra Schaudepot in Weil am Rhein

The windowless brick building for the new display depot of the Vitra Design Museum designed by the architects Herzog & de Meuron exercises maximum restraint. But the latest newbuild on the Vitra Campus is not only a simple barn structure with saddleback roof and door – the bright red building envelope built with clay bricks fractured by hand is more reminiscent of fabric, flowing seamlessly into the clay-paver-surfaced forecourt.

The bright-red masonry walls are built with clay bricks fractured by hand, which have been laid with their irregular face outwards, forming a rough building envelope. Together with the brick manufacturer, a pre-cut brick with minimal intended break point was developed. Dimensions and position of the perforations were specified by the architects. The same applies to the corner bricks, which were split on the header and stretcher sides to match the appearance at the corners. The unusual custom masonry was realized in an adapted header bond with 14-cm-wide x 6.2-cm-high x 12-cm-deep bricks. All the specials were supplied by the same manufacturer.

The forecourt and the steps running around two sides are brick-built in the same colour as the newbuild. The clay pavers were laid in a stretcher bond. Characteristic of the contours of the forecourt are sharp edges and dimensional accuracy in the laying of the pavers, creating an impression of precise workmanship.

Architect

Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland

Photo

GIMA Girnghuber GmbH, Marklkofen, Germany

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