View the light, asymmetrical exterior of the Rietveld Schröder House and marvel that its modern-looking structure was designed nearly 100 years ago. Step inside to see more quirky features, including movable walls.
The Rietveld Schröder House was commissioned by the widow and mother of three Truus Schroder, in 1924. It was built by architect Gerrit Rietveld, although Schröder was heavily involved in the design process. Her requests included balconies for all living spaces and a flexible top floor. This led to the creation of what was, at the time, one of the most unusual pieces of architecture in Europe.
Stand in front of the house to see how this odd asymmetrical building is attached to the end of a row of traditional 20th-century houses. Imagine what neighbors would have thought of the square panels and bold color scheme when it was built.
Inside, notice that the house is designed not just for appearance, but also for function. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ground-floor kitchen and dining area. A simple layout creates spaces that are illuminated by wall and floor panels painted in vibrant red, blue and yellow.
Make your way up the spiral staircase winding through the center of the building to reach the living area. During the design process Schröder told Rietveld that she felt “better” when she was above ground and so wished to have all the house’s living spaces on the second floor. Walk around the open-plan space that can be ingeniously divided into three bedrooms and a lounge by using a set of sliding panels. Beds can be transformed into couches and four open balconies beautifully light up the whole space.
The Rietveld Schröder House is one of nine recognized World Heritage cultural sites in the Netherlands. To visit, arrange a guided tour at the Centraal Museum in the middle of Utrecht. The house is a scenic, 25-minute stroll from the museum; staff will provide a map. Bikes are also available from the museum. The small admission fee includes the price of the tour.
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