Inside Iconic Houses - 28 April: Tour of Maison Cazenave
Inside Iconic Houses - Online Tour Program
Welcome Atelier Volten!
Inside Iconic Houses Tours Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami
Casa Masó Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary
Inside Iconic Houses tours Roland Reisley's Usonian Frank Lloyd Wright House
Rietveld’s Experimental Housing in Reeuwijk Saved
Serralves Villa after restoration
Watch Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Now On Demand
Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione
Test Labs for New Ideas - Interview with Natascha Drabbe
Inside Iconic Houses - Isokon Building
Inside Iconic Houses - 16 December: Sunnylands with Janice Lyle
BCN-BXL Coderch-De Koninck - Beyond Time
New Chairman Architect Nanne de Ru on The Perfect Platform
Health and Home - Interview with Beatriz Colomina
A Life Less Ordinary – Interview with Valentijn Carbo
Invisible Women - Interview with Alice T. Friedman
Winy Maas on the Green Dip
Anita Blom on Experimental Housing of the 1970s
Women’s Worlds - Interview with Natalie Dubois
The Culture of Living - Interview with Robert von der Nahmer
Hetty Berens: A Fresh Take on Modernism
Niek Smit on Supporting Modern Heritage
Alice Roegholt on Amsterdam’s Working-Class Palaces
July is Iconic Houses Month
Save Maison Zilveli - Sign the Petition!
How a Building Tells a Story - Recorded Event
Toolkit for Owners of a Modern House
13 Aalto Sites Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage
Villa Beer At Risk - Sign the Petition!
Business Cards of Stone, Timber and Concrete in the Brussels Region 1830-1970
Exhibiting & Visiting Modernist Monuments
Fostering Well-Researched Responsible Design
ICONS AT RISK
Enjoy a virtual visit to the California House and a Q&A with architect Peter Gluck
Exhibition 'Modernism and Refuge'
A Hidden Gem of Postmodernism
New Centre for Historic Houses of India
An Online Chronicle of the Douglas House
SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!
SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!
SPECIAL - Vacances en France!
SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!
SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!
SPECIAL – German Greats!
Villa Henny, geometric style icon in The Netherlands
A Mendini temple in Amsterdam
IH-lectures USA & Canada Feb 2020 on Melnikov House
An Afternoon with the Glucks
Danish Moderns – Looking Back at Our Mini-Seminar
Venturo house complements Exhibition Centre WeeGee’s offering
Lecture report: Remembering Richard Neutra
Hôtel Mezzara and the Guimard Museum project
We welcome 13 new members!
BREAKING NEWS: 8 Wright Sites Inscribed on Unesco World Heritage List!
LECTURE 29 August - Raymond Neutra: My Father and Frank Lloyd Wright
SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies
Our Badge of Honour
SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses
SPECIAL – Iconic Housing
Iconic Houses End Year Message
City-ordered rebuild of landmark house stirs debate: Appropriate or overreach?
Kohlberg House Restoration in Progress
Planned Demolition of Rietveld Homes in Reeuwijk
Renovation Gili House in Crisis
An Iconic Saga
Restoring Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027 and Clarifying the Controversies
Modernism on the East Coast
Iconic Houses in Latin America
House Tours May 2018
Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson
New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne
Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)
Restoring the past: The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Home Studio
Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association
Latin America Special – Focus on Mexico
De Stijl in Drachten
Preserving the Nancarrow House-Studio
Meet the Friends - Nanne de Ru
Latin America Special – Focus on Brazil
Jan de Jong’s House is Latest Hendrick de Keyser Acquisition
Stay in a Belgian Modernist Masterpiece
In Berlin’s Modernist Network
Rietveld-Schröder House Celebrates De Stijl Anniversary
Meet Our New Foundation Board Members
Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D
Getty Grant for Villa E-1027
11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List
At home with Le Corbusier
Wright Plus 2016 Walk
Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library
Documentary La Ricarda
Rent a house designed by Gerrit Rietveld
Barragán House on Screen
Gesamtkunstwerk – An Icon on the Move
Triennale der Moderne 27 September - 13 October 2013
Prestigious Art Nouveau mansions in Brussels open
September 14 + 15: Heritage Days in Paris
June's New Arrivals: Museum Apartments
Iconic Houses is now on Twitter and Facebook
Corbu’s Cabanon: Reconstruction and Lecture
Projekt Mies In Krefeld: Life-sized model of the Krefeld Clubhouse
New arrivals: Spain special
MAMO: Le Corbu’s ‘Park in the Sky’ open 12 June
Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May
Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen
Message from the Editor
Neutra’s House on Screen
Melnikov House on Screen
Iconic Houses in the media
Message from the Editor
Eileen Gray House on Screen
At Home in the 20th Century
New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches
Rietveld’s Experimental Housing in Reeuwijk Saved
An almost forgotten social housing project designed by architect Gerrit Rietveld in 1959 that was threatened with demolition has been saved and is now being partially restored.
by Wessel de Jonge and Jeroen Semeijn
Gerrit Th. Rietveld (Utrecht 1888-1964) is no doubt one of the most outstanding designers of the Modern Movement in the Netherlands. A main objective of the architectural avantgarde was to improve the quality of everyday life by developing novel and functional spatial arrangements, providing hygienic, well-lit, and healthy living conditions for everyone. This prompted architects to re-think the interior spaces and their relative relationship within the buildings they designed, and inspired designers to create functional objects for the interior space, promoting comfort and easy-to-use features. Rather than an architect who involved himself in the design of interior furnishings and objects, Rietveld was a furniture maker who increasingly engaged in architectural design.
|Rietveld houses in Reeuwijk. Photo Pieter Brattinga, circa 1960|
Rietveld aimed at reducing the spatial impact of furniture. By breaking them up into structural components their structures became light and transparent. His famous armchair of 1919 received its iconic colours only in 1923, just one year before he completed the Schröder House where his ideas were further explored at the scale of an entire house. Yet his ambitions went beyond experimental residential environments for private clients and Rietveld increasingly focussed on social housing. His core-house concept, developed since the late 1920s, involved efficient housing typologies with a minimum of space lost on circulation. In response to the need for more efficient housing for reconstructing the country after the war, Rietveld’s novel spatial layouts became again relevant. But the housing scheme in Reeuwijk of 1959 forms just one of his three realised social housing projects and remained the only one derived from the core-house principle.
|Ground floor of the restauration block. WDJA|
The 52 terraced units are arranged alternatingly with the front and the back to the street. The interior spaces had to be compact but are smartly arranged, efficient and well-lit. In line with the core-house idea the zone traditionally dedicated to a corridor (connecting the front door to the kitchen in the back) was added to the living room, creating an additional zone as a play or dining area. The cupboard wall to the kitchen was opened to allow the dishes to be passed around and daylight to enter deep into the house. This way Rietveld successfully transformed everyday households through the smart design of interior spatial configurations and ingenious systems of storage in search for a healthier and easier life.
Shortly after completion the minimalist details such as those of the window frames and roof curbs, caused leakages and other technical shortcomings. By the late seventies the houses were covered by a slightly sloping new roof, the timber window frames were replaced by units with an altered configuration and all the woodwork was painted dark brown. The lack of privacy because the front and back gardens were located adjacent to each other became a problem for some residents. Gardens were enclosed by a variety of high fences compromising the innovative lay-out of the scheme.
When in 2019 the housing association announced their intention to demolish the houses, the residents joined together in a campaign to secure the preservation of the scheme. A comparative study of various renovation options (including partial demolition) was set up to provide an objective framework for the discussions. WDJ Architects was commissioned to develop the various options, to assess their heritage impact, and to estimate the relative costs and the expected technical performance of the houses. An intense participatory process resulted in the decision to retain the entire scheme, to restore one block of eight units and to renovate the remaining 44 houses to preserve the general urban context. The renewal includes replacing the individual fences with uniform metal mesh fences with ivy.
Recently a mock-up of the restoration was completed to test the repair and reinstalment of Rietveld’s characteristic architectural details. These include the typical eaves formed by steel U-beams and the shadow-box-type spandrels that are made up of a ribbed glass pane placed in front of a coloured panel. The project is due to be completed by the summer of 2022.
|Mock-up of the restoration. Photo Jannes Linders|
Publication date 17 February 2022