Vitra has unveiled the Piet Oudolf Garden on its campus in full bloom for the very first time, realizing the vision of one of today's most compelling landscape designers. Piet Oudolf is known for spontaneous and wild-looking compositions of perennials and grasses such as New York's High Line, and is an icon of contemporary landscape design, making the Garden a fitting counterpart to the architecturally significant buildings designed by Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & De Meuron, Tadao Ando, and Renzo Piano, that comprise the campus.
The Garden is sprawling and immersive, covering over 43,000 sq ft of the Vitra's campus in Weil am Rhein, featuring 30,000 plants, including the long ignored shrubs, grasses, bushes and wildflowers that are exemplary of Oudolf landscapes.
Designed by Oudolf in 2020, the garden is now blossoming in all its variety. A balanced composition of plants with distinct strengths and weaknesses allows a year-round experience showing different flowering periods and life cycles. A complicated, architect-like framework and grid form the basis for the garden, but the viewer will never find straight lines and a clear focal point - as Oudolf strives for the viewer to lose themselves in it.
"In the first decades of the Vitra Campus's development, landscape design was not an issue," said Rolf Fehlbaum, Chairman Emeritus of Vitra. "It was only in the course of connecting the northern and southern parts of the Campus, when the projects by Álvaro Siza (Siza Promenade) and Günther Vogt were commissioned, that landscape interventions were first implemented. Piet Oudolf's garden has added a fresh dimension to the Campus and opens up a new, ever-changing experience for visitors."
Photography: Courtesy of Vitra