The Rietveld Schroeder House

Restoration of a De Stijl Interior and Exterior

In 1924 Mrs Schröder-Schräder of Utrecht commissioned the architect Gerrit Rietveld to build a house for her. Today the result of their co-operation - for the design was truly a combined effort - is considered a monument to Modernism and the purest expression of the principles of De Stijl. Mrs Schröder lived in the house until her death in 1985; she was ninety-five years old. Toward the end of her life she decided that she wanted the house to be restored as far as possible to its original condition, and she asked Bertus Mulder, an architect who had worked for Rietveld in the past, to undertake this reconstruction process.

The crucial elements of the 'new way of living' for which this house was a manifesto in 1925 - for example, the use of space and the system of sliding panels or walls especially created for Mrs Schröder - had disappeared during sixty years of use, repainting and redecoration; but twenty-four black and white photographs of the house taken shortly after it was built, together with the memories of Mrs Schröder and her three children, became Mulder's primary sources. There were others - for example, he found slivers of paint which revealed the original colors used. All the phases of his effort to reconstruct the house were filmed, and in the film he dwells particularly on the noteworthy aspects of Rietveld's architecture. In 1987 the house was opened to the public, and it is now a museum.

 

Credits

Director: Ike Bertels
Restoration-architect: Bertus Mulder


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Catalog number #502B

30 minutes Color

Age Range: 16 to Adult


48hr Streaming Access


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