As part of the summer programming of the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein, German artist Thomas Schütte and French designers Ronan&Erwan Bouroullec were invited to add new immersive installation pieces. Set in front of Herzog & de Meuron’s VitraHaus, within the Campus’ park, the wooden shelter designed by sculptor Thomas Schütte is a meditation space marked by asimmetry and the use of centennial wooden trunks coming from local plantations. The Blockhaus is part of the Swiss company’s open playground, where visitors have a chance to wonder around and discover a number of architectures and installations.
After spending years in creating architectural maquettes in his studio, the German artist has finally had a chance to build one, called by Vitra curator Theodora Vischer and chairman Rolf Fehlbaum. The structure is developed on an hexagonal plant with perimetral wooden walls that interweave into one another. Massive beams hold a pitched roof that lets light and air in. The interior only hosts two wall-mounted wooden benches and a central potable-water basin; there is no flooring other than the outdoor gravel that comes in. “As an artist I didn’t feel the restrictions that architects have”, Schütte explained. “Mine is a building that calls for permanence, with a strong link to nature”.
Under the blossomed cherry trees, the double installation by French duo Ronan&Erwan Bouroullec is openly inspired by life in the countryside and kids. ‘Ruisseau’ is a narrow channel-fountain carved in a Portuguese marble base. “It reminded me of those streams where you would carfully lay down a paper boat, and see where it goes,” Erwan Bouroullec explained. Then he took a cherry and repeated the gesture. The second installation is a well-known Bouroullec’s piece, called the Ring: a metal bench, ring-shaped, that surrounds a very old tree. As simple as it seems, it brought visitors back to basic wellness, who sat comfortably under the shade of a magnificent foliage, stimulating play and conversation.
- Thomas Schütte
- Ring e Ruisseau
- Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
- Vitra Campus
- Charles-Eames-Straße 2, Weil am Rhein, Germany