The ‘De Stijl’ House

The Rietveld Schroder House was built by Gerrit Rietveld for her client and lover Truus Schroder-Schrader. The young women had wanted to design a home to express her freedom (she was recently widowed from a middle-class, dull as dish-water lawyer) but where she could also live with her three children. She was a major player in the construction of the house, laying down the specification that it should be built preferably with no walls. On the drawing of the first sketches of the design Schroder-Schrader made clear that the plan was not how she had envisioned and sent Rietveld back to the drawing board.

When the home was first built it was clearly distinct from any architectural style attempted before. Indeed it also stood out completely from all the other houses in the terrace it adjoined. The modernist creation is proclaimed as the only truly ‘de stijl’ building was created to be true to the principles of the movement.

The interior was designed to be as similar to the exterior, in an attempt to break from traditional house building convention. The flow between inside and outside was achieved by making the walls from a series of panels which were layered and separated from one another. This effect blurred the distinction between exterior and interior and was further used as a design element on the interior to break up the living spaces.

The house is now a museum (having been restored since Schroder-Shraders death in 1985). The building is listed and also a classified World Heritage Site.

(Image source: centralmuseum.nl, Rietveld Schröder House, Ernst Moritz)

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