The Rietveld Schröder House
Gerrit Rietveld (1888–1964), best known for his red & blue chair, was not only a furniture designer but an architect as well, and one of the leading exponents of the modernist art movement De Stijl. In 1923, Truus Schröder-Schräder, a widow, commissioned him to design a house for her, something Rietveld had never done before. The resulting Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht is the epitome of De Stijl architecture, featuring clean horizontal & vertical lines and primary colours, alongside white, grey & black. For two reasons, the place is a Gesamtkunstwerk: the house & its interior are fully in sync, and the mistress of the house — who was, as it turned out, also the mistress of the architect — had such an influence on the design that it may very well be considered a co-production.
Rietveld’s — and Schröder’s — ideal house was spacious, simple & functional. He came up with all sorts of clever solutions to achieve this, such as the ingenious sliding walls on the first floor, by day a large open space that could be split up into three separate rooms in the evening, and the iconic corner window that makes the corner disappear when opened, meant to ensure a fluid transition between interior and exterior. And the really cool thing is: you can see it all for yourself, with live demonstrations of all the moving parts, during a one-hour guided tour that takes place five times a day, Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because tour groups are limited to twelve persons, it’s advisable to book tickets online in advance.rietveldschroderhuis.nl