Vitra in the picture

Last year, some of my pictures of the Vitra campus were featured in the vitra special of Magazine B, a brand documentary magazine from Korea.

B Magazine - Vitra Campus

The featured picture is of VitraHaus by Herzog & de Meuron. One of my pictures of Zaha Hadid’s Fire Station was also published:

Fire Station | Vitra Campus - Weil am Rhein | Zaha Hadid

The last picture that was presented was Frank Gehry’s Vitra’s Design Museum:

Vitra Design Museum | Campus Vitra - Weil am Rhein | Frank Gehry

This video gives a short presentation of B magazine and the Vitra campus:


More pictures on the Vitra Campus on my Flickr page.

Up in the hills of Wuppertal

Last week I visited Wuppertal, looking for traces of Pina, the motion picture by Wim Wenders. One of the highlights of my trip was a visit to Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden. Not only because of the beautiful scenery, but also because of the lucky encounter with one of my favorite contemporary artists: Jan Fabre.

Continue reading “Up in the hills of Wuppertal”

My 2013 resolutions part 1 – Wuppertal

Now that the year is still all sparkling and new, it’s the perfect occasion to present a list of buildings/sites/bridges I’m looking forward to visit in 2013. Here goes!

First I’m headed for Wuppertal, the city of Pina Bausch. Wuppertal is an industrial city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The Wupper streams through the valley where the city is built in.

Continue reading “My 2013 resolutions part 1 – Wuppertal”

Zaha Hadid - Fire Station

Vitra Fire Station – Zaha Hadid

The Vitra Campus is a spot which all architecture lovers should visit. So did I. In the “backlot” there is a small building that used to be the Vitra Fire Station designed by Zaha Hadid.

This was the first building designed by Zaha Hadid that was actually build full-scale. Before everybody regarded her designs as mere fantasy that could not be build.

Throughout the building, Zaha Hadid loves to play with the senses of visitors. When you are looking at the horizon from inside the building, it really is difficult to find the horizon as a straight line. It’s as if you loose connection with the world outside. Zaha Hadid carries this principle beyond its limits. It has been said that the fire fighters didn’t like the toilets because they got nauseous inside. Zaha Hadid practically told them to learn to live with it and wouldn’t compromise on her design. As a result, the building was used for only a very short period of time as an actual fire station. It wasn’t very practical. Now it is used to host events.

The design of the building really is simple, just look at this short video:

[vimeo w=600]

Viewed from the sky the building looks like this (thank you Google maps!):

Zaha Hadid - Fire Station

Near the Vitra Campus is another Zaha Hadid building: Land Formation One. I didn’t go there because I came to the Vitra Campus by bus and it was too far to walk (since it was getting darker). Some friends went there a few years later, reporting that the site was not a lovely place to see, neglected and thus in very bad shape. Sometimes time and the invasion by its natural environment can give buildings an extra glow. Maybe Zaha Hadid’s buildings only impress when they’re shiny and new? Time will tell…


Vitra Campus
Charles-Eames-Str. 2
Weil am Rhein (Germany)

You can access the building during the Architectural tour organised by the Vitra Museum.

The wonder of architecture

I discovered the work of Daniel Libeskind in Berlin this year while visiting the Jewish Museum.

What really struck me when I walked through his museum is that I “felt” the story that Libeskind was telling me through his building. And then I discovered his TED-talk.

He started his talk with these words and then everything around me just disappeared…

I’ll start with my favorite muse, Emily Dickinson, who said that wonder is not knowledge, neither is it ignorance. It’s something which is suspended between what we believe we can be, and a tradition we may have forgotten.

— Daniel Libeskind

The picture above was taken at the top of the staircase in the Jewish Museum. I deliberately didn’t re-size it – and I really hope your screen isn’t big enough so you have to scroll down – so you can get a glimpse of the feeling you get looking back and down after your visit.

Pina Waldfrieden

Architecture in motion

Remember Pina, the motion picture by Wim Wenders?

It was one of those movies that made a life changing impression on me.

Not only because of the poetic choreography by Pina Bausch.

Not only because of the tantalizing soundtrack with music by Jun Miyake.

But also because of the architectural gems you can discover throughout the movie. One of these being the space with the gigantic windows somewhere in a park (picture above).

Thanks to a friend of mine I discovered where this “space” is located: Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden in Wuppertal (Germany).

The park is the property of Tony Cragg, a British sculpturer. When visiting the park you are surely able to discover his work. But also this rather strange building, Villa Waldfrieden.

It is a building with a very organic feel about it, designed by Franz Krause. Krause was not only an architect, but also an interior designer and painter (source). The building offers stunning views through again… gigantic windows:


Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden
Hirschstrasse 12
Wuppertal (Germany)