Monday, October 6, 2008

Step inside a Piet Mondian Painting...

Step inside a Piet Mondrian painting and enter the Rietveld Schroder House, a house built entirely in the "De Stijl" style or neoplasticism. Artists of this movement aimed to simplify everything to vertical and horizontal lines and used only primary colors along with white, black, and grey. The house provides a large contrast with the traditional style Dutch canal homes with which it shares a wall.

The house was designed by Gerritt Rietveld and Truus Schroder. The owner of the house, Truus Schroder, is considered one of the architects because the house is a collaboration between the two - his artistic style and her functional designs. It was built in 1924 and was lived in by Ms. Schroder until her death in 1985.

The house was architecturally and artistically amazing. The furniture inside was even designed by the architects and follows in the De Stijl style. The house was designed with walls that could be removed during the day to allow for a more social, open atmosphere in the house. So at night there are 3 bedrooms and an office, but during the day the walls all slide back (much like a temporary classroom) and a large living space is created. I wish I could show you more pictures of the interior of the house, but it is protected by copyright and we were not allowed to take photos. A small clip of the house is available here.

This house is a world heritage site, considered "a masterpiece of human creative ability" and "an important and unique icon of western architectural history" by UNESCO. There are 7 UNESCO sites in the Netherlands (only 6 on the mainland - the 7th is in Curacao) and we hope to visit them all during our stay here. In comparison, the United States only has 20 sites.

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