The swiss family business Vitra was founded in 1950 in Weil am Rhein, Germany, by Willi Fehlbaum, owner of a furniture store in Basel. In 1981, following a fire that destroyed the production facilities, the company commissioned the English architect Nicholas Grimshaw with the outline of a new factory. Next to the aluminium industrial hall, raised in only six months' time, was built in 1986 another production facility by the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza. In 1989, Frank Gehry designed yet another building next to the first two. The same Gehry also accounts for what later was to become the "Vitra Design Museum" and, originally, was intended to house the private furniture collection of Rolf Fehlbaum. In 1993 Zaha Hadid added a fire station which currently houses a collection of the Design Museum. In the same year a pavilion for conferences was built after a design by Tadao Ando.
In 1994, Vitra's administrative offices moved to the nearby Birsfelden, in Switzerland. The same year Alvaro Siza added the shop building to the production site in Weil am Rhein. Today, the "Vitra Campus" is home to the Vitra Design Museum, the Vitra Haus and other buildings, each of them closely linked to the name of an internationally renowed architects, like Herzog & De Meuron.