Vitra has announced the acquisition of a new 30.7m slide and viewing tower, designed by German artist Carsten Höller. Installed on 18 June, the Vitra Slide Tower as the work is called will enable visitors to enjoy a new and unique experience at Vitra’s Campus in Weil am Rhein.
The tower consists of three diagonal columns that meet at the top, with a revolving clock measuring 6m in diameter mounted at their point of intersection. The tower can be ascended by visitors and is accessed by a double flight of stairs fitted between the columns that has several landings.
A viewing platform 17m-high offers new perspectives of the Vitra Campus and the surrounding landscape. The platform also serves as the starting point for a 38m-long corkscrew tube slide.
“A slide is a sculptural work with a pragmatic aspect, a sculpture that you can travel inside,” said Carsten Höller. “However, it would be a mistake to think that you have to use the slide to make sense of it. Looking at the work from the outside is a different but equally valid experience, just as one might contemplate The Endless Column by Constantin Brancusi from 1938.
“From an architectural and practical perspective, slides are one of the building’s means of transporting people, equivalent to escalators, elevators and stairs. Slides deliver people quickly, safely and elegantly to their destinations, they’re inexpensive to construct and energy efficient.”
Vitra’s goal was to develop a work with an artist that would fit into the overall plan for the Campus and be able to hold its own in the face of the powerful architecture on the Campus without being closed off and self-contained, offering visitors an enriching and inspiring experience whether or not they have an affinity for art. This led to the selection of Höller.