With a license to manufacture some of the most iconic furniture and lighting designs from the likes of Charles and Ray Eames, Antonio Citterio and Jasper Morrison, Swiss-based manufacturer, Vitra is a powerhouse of the design industry. Here we take a look at its history and highlights...
Inspired by the designs of Charles and Ray Eames in a Herman Miller store during a trip to New York in 1953, Vitra founders Willi and Erika Fehlbaum sought to obtain the license to produce Eames’ furniture in Europe. The process took 4 years, but in 1957 Vitra received European rights to the work of Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson, Alexander Girard and Isamu Noguchi. More than 50 years later, Vitra has gone on to work with a host of infamous design talent, and continue to combine engineering know-how with the best in design. Committed to sustainability and innovation, Vitra remains one of the world’s most significant manufacturers.
Tip Ton Chair
One of Vitra's most iconic products is the Tip Ton Chair, designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. As a revolution in ergonomic design, the Tip Ton is sold on the health benefits of a forward leaning sitting position, the polypropylene chair is manufactured from a single mode and is 100% recyclable.
Another infamous Vitra chair was designed in the 1960's by Willi Fehlbaum and Danish designer Verner Panton. Following a number of prototypes, the iconic Panton Chair was released in 1967 as the first mass-produced plastic cantilever chair, formed from a single cast. It has won a host of awards and is an iconic classic with serious design clout.
The Vitra Campus is home to an impressive array of architecturally significant buildings. From a production factory by Nicholas Grimshaw to a bus stop by Jasper Morrison, the concept unites buildings by leading international architects.
Having previously been recognised for office furnishings and business clients, Vitra created its Home Collection in 2004 in the hope of inspiring individuals with a love of design. It combines design classics as well as re-editions and products by contemporary designers. VitraHaus was designed by Basel-based architects Herzog & de Meuron in 2006 and is reminiscent of a pile of houses over five storeys. With spiral staircases, endless furniture inspiration and surprises at every turn, this unique building is a fitting addition to the Vitra Campus.