Herzog and de Meuron

Jaques Herzog and Pierre de MeuronJacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were born in 1950 in Basel, Switzerland. Both studied architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. In 1978, they jointly founded the architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron in Basel.

Jacques Herzog taught as a guest professor at Cornell University in 1983, and accepted a professorship at Harvard University in 1994. Pierre de Meuron held a guest professorship at Harvard in 1989 and was also called to serve on the faculty in 1994. In 1999 they assumed teaching positions at the ETH Zurich. In 2002 they founded the ETH Studio Basel / Contemporary City Institute together with Roger Diener and Marcel Meili.

Herzog and de Meuron designed the sculptural and practical Hocker stool for Vitra in 2005.  In 2010, they designed VitraHaus, Vitra's flagship store on their campus headquarters in Weil am Rhein, Germany. Here, visitors have the opportunity to experience the furniture in the Vitra Home Collection, which is displayed in inspiring arrangements. It was with this in mind that Herzog and de Meuron let themselves be inspired by the typical house shape for their design. VitraHaus thus consists of gabled houses, particularly apt for presenting home furniture, which have been stretched in length, nested within each other and fitted with large windows at the front.

The projections of the individual 12 houses float up to 15 breathtaking meters over each other, creating a “stack of houses” that almost looks chaotic. With its impressive scale, VitraHaus towers over the other buildings on the Campus – and not only provides an overview of the Vitra Home Collection, but also a view of the surrounding areas – near and far.

During the day, the VitraHaus offers a lovely view of the surroundings, and at night, the building glows in the dark, while its shape seems to dissolve. The rooms open up and the fronts fitted with glass turn into vitrines of sorts, which glow over the Campus and the surroundings.