Vitra has manufactured furniture designs by Charles & Ray Eames and George Nelson since 1957. Building on this foundation, Vitra has developed a wide range of furnishings for the office, for the home and for public spaces in collaboration with progressive designers. Yet Vitra is more than just a design-oriented manufacturing company. The name also stands for the Vitra Design Museum, for a collection of modern furniture and its accompanying archive, for workshops and publications on topics of design, and for an architectural concept that unites buildings by Frank Gehry, Nicholas Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid, Tadao Ando, Alvaro Siza, Herzog & de Meuron and SANAA at the Vitra Headquarters in Birsfelden (Switzerland) and on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein (Germany).
Product longevity is central to Vitra's contribution to sustainable development; short-lived styling is avoided at all costs. This can be seen most clearly in the classical pieces of furniture that have been used for decades, had several owners and have then even ended up as a part of a collection. For Vitra, the manufacture of sustainable products means intense pre-production development, where the highest-grade materials are selected and tests are carried out that simulate 15 years of use. In order to enforce and monitor sustainable development in all business activities of the company, a work group was formed in 1986 by the name of 'Vitra and the Environment'. Because of this, Vitra can proudly claim that it has been dedicated to sustainability for nearly a quarter of a century.
Jacques Herzog & Pierre de Meuron, born on 19 April and 8 May, 1950, respectively, 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 (additional partners: 1991 Harry Gugger, 1994 Christine Binswanger, 2004 Robert Hösl, 2004 Ascan Mergenthaler, 2006 Stefan Marbach). Jacques Herzog taught as a guest professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., 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.View other products by Herzog & de Meuron