Technical Study: Vitsoe factory, Leamington Spa

Vitsœ royal leamington spa3 c vitsoe fsc

The firm behind Dieter Rams’ 606 shelving system has created a temple to craftsmanship with its new HQ

When the time comes for a manufacturer to move out of London and build its own factory the result is typically a prefabricated metal shed plonked in an expanse of concrete. Not so the headquarters of furniture company Vitsœ which has moved 140 miles up the Grand Union Canal from Camden to Leamington Spa.

Its new home is indeed a vast box constructed offsite and erected in 23 days on a 1.3ha site between a giant supermarket, a busy road and a railway. But that’s where the similarities end.

Fittingly for a furniture company the new building is made entirely from wood and is crafted like a Chippendale. Just as fittingly for a company renowned for its system-built shelving – which still rolls off the assembly line just as Dieter Rams designed it 60 years ago – the building can be reconfigured, though with a forklift rather than an allen key. It’s a bespoke kit of parts.

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