Color, shape and a house: the Rietveld-Schröder Huis in Utrecht

by Paola Pirovano

translation: Estelle Rojmans

This year marks the centenary of ‘ De Stijl’, which is a stylistic and philosophical movement based on the absolute search for harmony between line, form and color.

De Stijl is also considered the basis of the development of contemporary Dutch design, but how can you can translate abstract concepts in a concrete reality? Gerrit Rietveld, designer and architect, did it. In 1924 he realized the dream of building a house entirely based on the principles of De Stijl.

Almost a Mondriaan painting in three dimensions, the Rietveld-Schröder Huis in Utrecht is now a museum, in excellent condition. In strong contrast to the fashion of the time, the house is located in a middle-class neighborhood, surrounded by the typical red brick houses.

Strictly in primary colors plus black and white, which are considered non-colors to Rietveld, the Schroeder Huis is striking in its modernity.
It is based on a rational division of space in which each element is assigned a specific function making it highly functional, and uses all the available space with solutions that suggest an IKEA ante litteram.

Movable walls, removable panels, changing spaces and fully open to the outside for a total fusion between interior and exterior space, which corresponds to the ideal communion of art and life professed by Rietveld and De


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