5 Things We Love About Vitra

Vitra the Swiss furniture giants are without doubt a favourite here at Cimmermann. Functional yet inspiring – engineering excellence fused with creative genius. Here are five things we love about them:

1.Design process

The Vitra production facilities combine engineering excellence and creativity of leading designers that marry together function, quality & inspiration. Eames, Citterio, Prouve, Jasper Morrison, Bouroullec Brothers and many more all contribute to Vitra producing the worlds most recognisable and desirable furniture. We were lucky enough to visit the Vitra Factory in October and witness first hand the degree of quality control, production testing and love that goes into each product. One room is called the furniture Torture room – imagine for yourself the stringent tests the furniture goes through in there!! We saw first hand the production of the Eames Lounge Chair, from the gluing of the springs that attach the wooden frame to the upholstered seat to the assembly of these components, all done with love by hand.

Vitra Eames Lounge Chairs
Eames Lounge Chairs waiting for assembly

2. Longevity – Design Classics

We all know and love the  DSW Chairs, Eames Lounge Chair, DSR Chairs – these are all Design Classics by Vitra. To us a Design Classic is a piece of furniture whose design has stood the test of time and looks as inspiring and beautiful as the day it was produced. Ray & Charles Eames are possibly the most prominent and inspirational designers, their furniture is so recognisable and without it furniture design would be different today – and to think their relationship with Vitra started in the 1950’s.

Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman
The sublime Vitra Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman

3. Vitra Campus architecture

Our recent visit to the Vitra Campus allowed us to witness some amazing architecture. Rolf Felbaum the current Vitra CEO is so passionate about architecture he has recruited some of the worlds leading architects to design functional and inspiring building’s to house their production facilities, have their meetings in and showcase their furniture. Our favourite was the Zaha Hadid Fire Station or the Tadao Ando Conference Centre – both built with concrete but very different in their look and function. A real treat is the Frank Gehry building – curvy lines in abundance. The newest addition to the Vitra Campus is the SANAA Production facility, the exterior from a distance looks like a wavy fabric and shimmers a beautiful blue hue in the Swiss sunlight – simply stunning.

Vitra and SANAA
SANAA building on the Vitra Campus
Inside the Zaha Hadid Fire
Inside the Zaha Hadid Fire Station at Vitra HQ
aTadao Ando Conference Centre
Tadao Ando Conference Centre and Vegetal Chairs

4. Jean Prouve

Not so well known as Ray and Charles Eames but Jean Prouve was an astonishing designer. Prouve trained as a metal worker and was a self-taught architect and designer. His furniture designs can be quite raw and expose the workings down to their basic form. Prouve was born in 1901 in France, a major achievement of his was transferring manufacturing technology from industry to architecture and furniture, without losing aesthetic qualities. Vitra are lucky enough to work with his family and have the rights to produce and sell his furniture collection. The stand out pieces are the Standard and Standard SP Dining Chair, a beautiful combination of lacquered metal and rich wood colours. The perfect office desk for today’s laptop/tablet generation is the Compas Direction Desk, perfect in every way.

Vitra Compas Direction Desk by Jean Prouve
Vitra Compas Direction Desk in the Vitra Haus by Jean Prouve

5. The VitraHaus, Vitra’s flagship store

What more can be said about the stunning VitraHaus? Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, it is Vitra’s flagship store and home to the Vitra Home Collection. Here, you can view room sets in different design styles, which include both the great Vitra classics and the latest contemporary designs. The way the different houses seem to balance on one another is an architecture feat I think only Herzog & De Meuron know how to achieve. We would recommend a visit if you can, it is a treat for any architecture geek!

Vitra Haus
Vitra Haus, images courtesy of Dezeen
Vitrahaus roomset
Cool room set in the VitraHaus
Vitra is inspiring, no other company offers the range of products and the most unique base to create and display their stunning furniture.

The Team at Cimmermann