Be inspired by the furniture styles of the past and future at this architecturally stunning museum with iconic pieces that not only lovers of design will recognize.
As its name suggests, the Vitra Design Museum is the brainchild of Swiss modern furniture manufacturer Vitra. Focusing on modern furniture and designs of the 20th and 21st centuries, it is a must for interior design aficionados, but also fascinating for lovers of architecture.
First admire the museum building itself, standing out like a modern sculpture in its landscaped surrounds. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry in 1989, it is a white-and-gray mass of angles, curves and sharp edges.
Inside, browse through some of the temporary and permanent exhibitions on display. The museum holds over 7,000 pieces of furniture, lighting objects and design archives. Admire the estate of the legendary designers Charles and Ray Eames, best known for the iconic Eames Lounge and Ottoman combination. Verner Panton and Alexander Girard are two other big names among the celebrated designers here.
Head over to The Schaudepot, an exhibition building designed by Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron that was opened in 2016. It allows for a more permanent exhibition of the museum’s furniture collection as well as the wide array of changing temporary exhibitions.
Join one of the fascinating tours on offer. The Architecture Tour takes in both museum buildings along with other Vitra buildings on the site. The Fire Station, designed by Zaha Hadid, is another highlight among several other interesting buildings.
Go to the on-site café for a drink or meal. You can even bring a picnic and sit in the museum grounds to relax with a view of the stunning architecture. Before you leave, browse the museum shop.
The Vitra Design Museum is approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the center of Weil am Rhein in Germany and about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) from the center of Basel in Switzerland. It is best reached by car or taxi. Free on-site parking is available. The museum is open daily from mid morning to late afternoon. Entry fees apply as a package or separately for the Design Museum and the Schaudepot. Exhibition tours for individuals, groups and children are available for a fee.