About the House Built in the Mondriaan StyleThe Rietveld Schröder House is a typical Mondriaan house, however not designed by him.
The house was built in the Dutch town of Utrecht and is an architectural version of Mondriaan's style, since Gerrit Rietveld, the architect who designed the house, and Mondriaan, the renowned painter in his geometrical paintings, were also members of the design group De Steele.
The Architecture of the HouseThe house is of course three-dimensional, but also in it you see the familiar shape of lines and planes in basic colors and right angles. It was designed by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld in 1924, commissioned by Truus Schröder, a customer who commissioned the house for her children.
Schröder's request was for the house to be as far as possible without internal walls. Rietveld's response was to build something new, instead of the usual ground floor, with its three bedrooms, on the second floor there are no internal partitions at all. The open space that replaces the collection of static rooms that were characteristic of the homes of those days was a rare idea in the 1920's.
Rietveld accepted the landlady's request and installed a set of moving and rotating panels on the second floor, which enabled the open space to be turned into another three bedrooms and a living room. Enabling the creation of different partition combinations, which allow to play with the splitting of the space and create different and varied experiences.
On the front of the house is the colorful collage typical of the De Steele style, but here it consists of two-dimensional planes that combine with one-dimensional lines that are deliberately detached from one another. The surfaces are painted white and gray, the frames and the reflections in black and certain elements have been painted in primary colors. This is how the balconies of the house blend nicely.
This building is one of the only buildings built in the De Steele style and certainly the best example of architecture in this style. It was not only praised, but also criticized for the change it represents, in relation to the conservative architecture of his time. After all, the Rietveld House is part of a uniform and conservative home run, and it is totally against its character. There was not even a faint attempt at integration with the surrounding architecture. The back is connected to a normal structure and the contrast between them is still jarring today.
History of the houseIf you arrive in Utrecht, see the house at Prinshendriklaan 50. After the death of Schroeder in 1985, the Jewish community of Utrecht donated the funds to transform the house into a museum, in recognition of the fact that the city's residents gave shelter to a Jewish family against the Nazis.
Important TipsIf you wish to visit the house, you must book a visit at least one week before arrival.