Rietveld Schröder House October 2016

Rietveld Schröder House is a surprisingly small house, like a huge and exotic child’s toy set down in a hum-drum suburb. On the guided tour of about 12 people the house shrank further. Downstairs is made up of functional spaces, kitchen, study, hall and the upstairs consists of one large open flexible space that has moveable walls and corner windows that opens right up.  Within this more open space there are a few fixed spaces – a loo and Truus Schröder’s bedroom and en suite bathroom. The rooms for her children had moveable walls and it actually proffers a very open and communal way of living, with in places, a dissolution between inside and outside. It has an interesting home-made quality and it’s easy to imagine Reitveld in his workshop on a Saturday morning cutting and painting bits of plywood to create the stark built in furniture. Truus Schröder was instrumental in its design and her aim was to achieve a sense of soberness,  because she wanted to live in the active sense and not be lived! She wanted a house without walls and to inhabit a space that was off the ground. When his wife died Reitveld lived here with Truus Schröder.

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