Archives: Meubel

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Utrechtse Hypotheekbank


Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) worked with his father in the workshop in the Poortstraat in Utrecht. They made ‘classical’ furniture and also panelling for interiors, such as for the Utrechtse Hypotheekbank in 1905.

Gerrit also made the paintings above the doors in that interior.

Furnishing Slot Zuylen


Gerrit’s first furniture design, as far as we know, is furnishing for the gate building of Slot Zuylen from around 1906.

Bench Chair, 1908


In the following years he designed several pieces of furniture, which were even more simple and sleek. In doing so, he was looking for ‘the new’, as he later described it.

The Bench Chair from 1908 is a design in which all superfluous components were left out. He used cheap pinewood and simple constructions. The backrest consists of a leather belt, fastened with copper nails.

Oak Cabinet, 1911


For his marriage to Vrouwgien Hadders in 1911 Rietveld made a cabinet, table, bench and linen cupboard. All very sleek designs, which were unusual for that time. The influence of Berlage can be recognised in them. Rietveld himself indicated that his teacher P.J. Klaarhamer opened his eyes to construction and dimensions. The one for the cupboard is based on one meter, a measurement that Rietveld often applied in his architecture afterwards.

Red-Blue Chair, 1919


In 1919 Rietveld designed the ‘red-blue’ chair, which at the time was created from brown stained wood.

That same year the chair was published in the magazine De Stijl. Rietveld wrote that he wanted to make a piece of furniture that stands freely in the space, where the shape wins over the material and that is easily produce by machines. In the same commentary, Van Doesburg called the chair: “… a slender creature of space (…) unintentional, but unmerciful processing of open spaces”.

Rietveld achieved the spatiality with, among other things, continuous slats and pen-hole connections.

The bevelled, later rectangular side panels disappeared with the versions from 1923 onwards.

In that year he painted the chair in the well-known primary De Stijl colours. That version could be seen in Utrecht at the exhibition ‘The Practical Housewife’. Possibly this exhibition was the direct cause for the colours of the chair. The exhibition interior, designed by Rietveld as a whole, may have led to the chair being matched to the space and in particular to the work of Van der Leck, who worked with primary colours as well.

This slatted armchair, as it was also called, was supplied by Rietveld in many colours, fitting in with the interior and according to the client’s wishes. For example, he made a monochrome red chair for himself and for the writer Til Brugman a completely white version, as part of an interior with colour design by Vilmos Huszár.

For Charley Toorop he made a sea-green and a pink version, both monochrome, and a grey version with yellow edges. Paul Lemon and Peter Alma were given a black chair with white edges.

Elling buffet, 1919


Rietveld made this buffet in 1919 for his friend and colleague Piet Elling. He himself later stated:

“The cabinet consists of a frame of sticks, rules we’ll call it, all of the same size. (…) But I didn’t want to close that cupboard with a flat door, I closed it with a composition of planes that are placed spatially against each other in the same three dimensions of the space as the frame itself, and that’s why you can see the wonderful shape of that door. The drawer, which is also composed of planks and slats, is all of the same kind. And now I would have liked to make this cabinet asymmetrical because I felt that this symmetry was actually too much bound to the mass, so I would have preferred to place it freely in the space, but that was still too difficult at the time, I was happy that I could bring it this far and so I made it the same on both sides.”

The buffet is depicted in the magazine De Stijl from 1920.

Military chair, stool and table, 1923


This furniture was designed for the Catholic Military Home in Utrecht. Here the wood joints are less continuous and connected with large bolts and nuts.

Schröder Small Table, 1923


Asymmetric small table, designed for the interior of the Rietveld Schröder house.

Berlin Chair, 1923


Originally this asymmetrical chair was designed for a modelling room for the ‘Juryfreie Kunstschau’ in Berlin. This in collaboration with Vilmos Huszár, who made the colour design. At the time, the design was probably only executed as a model.

Later, the chair was designed in both a version with the armrest on the left and as in a mirror image with the armrest on the right.

Hobble Cart , 1923


Rietveld most likely first created these for his own children.