Vitra's 'Chair Stories'

John Hill
9. June 2020
Screenshot of "Visit by the architects"

Swiss furniture company Vitra is making the 90-minute film from 2018 Chair Times: A History of Seating – From 1800 to Today available to watch for free on its website, alongside sixteen short "Chair Stories."

The first of the sixteen Chair Stories — four are available to watch now, the rest coming soon — features architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron visiting the Schaudepot, which opened in 2016 next to Zaha Hadid's fire station on Vitra's famous Weil am Rhein campus. The 21-minute film follows Herzog & de Meuron as they walk through the displays of modern furniture and talk with Vitra chairman emeritus Rolf Fehlbaum.

Screenshot of "Visit by the architects"

Most of the short film shows the trio walking around the large gallery packed with tall shelves displaying 400 chairs designed by the likes of Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, and many others. Near the beginning of the film they stop at a large opening that reveals a lower level and a continuation of the collection.

Screenshot of "Visit by the architects"

Descending one level, they peer into windows in the basement that reveal even more floor-to-ceiling shelves. Fehlbaum explains that the company has more than 7,000 items in its collection, meaning upstairs is just the tip of the iceberg of modern furniture within the walls of the Schaudepot.

Screenshot of "Visit by the architects"

Visit Vitra's website to watch Chair Times, "Visit by the architects," and other Chair Stories.

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