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"Rietveld" Tag

Colouring Interiors

Thursday, November 24, 2011


There is no spectacular reason why I chose this Wendingen magazine. I haven’t had the luck to know anyone who owns such furniture or designed their home according to the Amsterdam School. But maybe because I know so little about the Amsterdam School and the Stijl I became curious in it’s influence on present design, art and architecture. Additionally, how do we people living in the 21st century look at the ideologies of the artists like Piet Kramer, Gerrit Rietveld and W. M. Dudok? Also, what do we think of the photographs of interiors that were designed by these designers?


The first thing I thought of when I saw the photographs is that I wouldn’t want my house to consist of only primary colors with the black, white and gray colour combination. I generally find their houses too impersonal and geometrical because of the lack of spontaneity and absurdity.
The Schröder-Rietveld House, however, I find exceedingly playful because of the ability to turn an open space into separate private rooms. Also, the practicality of the house is simple, sincere and has its particular charm.

The main reason why I liked this ‘Wendingen’ magazine was because of the numerous black/white photographs. My focus also drew to the captions underneath the photographs as they tried to describe the colors of the furniture, which you could not see or even guess.

For some years ago I liked to find old , black & white pictures of random rooms. I would use colored pencils to color these, for example, living rooms or dining rooms in. I would attempt to make the color combinations expressive, intense and sometimes clashing so they become livelier.

I like to work with themes such as nostalgia: focus on the beauty as on the absurdity of it. The furniture in the ‘Wendingen’ issue have a touch of nostalgia now, which I do not believe that someone like Rietveld or Kramer would have wanted their designs to turn into. This is simply bound to happen, so the interesting part to it now is what to do with these photos in the Wendingen issue?

There were several photographs of Piet Kramer‘s work in the issue, which I genuinely like, and who is now one of the known key figures of the Amsterdam School. I did a bit of investigation on him to see what else he has made, how his style developed and who he worked with etc. This I considered to share on the blog but I did not desire to simply focus on him but specifically on the work shown in the issue. I wanted to rediscover the style of the Amsterdam School and turn these practical and geometrical methods into something bourgeois and decorative and work against their ideology, without offending them.



Hompje klei

Monday, November 22, 2010

Het startpunt van dit architectuur project was een zelf uitgekozen gebouw van Rietveld, dat interessant was op basis van de relatie tussen binnen en buiten. Mijn oog was gevallen op twee surrealistische gebouwen, die in hun omgeving lijken te zweven.

Naar aanleiding van deze gebouwen moesten we een publieke ruimte ontwerpen voor een groen stuk op de Wibautstraat.
Tijdens het bekijken van de plek viel het me op dat de gebouwen op de Wibautstraat totaal niet in relatie staan met elkaar. Het is een onsamenhangend gesloten geheel en de gebouwen dragen niets uit.

Ik kreeg daardoor een beter beeld van welke aspecten ik in mijn gebouw zou willen hebben. Het gebouw moest iets gaan uitdragen, open zijn en surrealistische aspecten hebben. Met deze gedachtes ben ik begonnen aan een reeks kleine sculpturen, al zoekend naar interessante vormen. Uiteindelijk heb ik er daarvan twee gekozen.

De een is speels, verticaal en open. De ander meer  organisch, horizontaal en compact. Ik heb de tweede sculptuur verder meegenomen in mijn proces. Vooral omdat ik de openheid en de speelsheid van deze vorm erg goed vond passen bij mijn doelstellingen en bij hetgeen waar de wibautstraat aan te kort schiet. Maar zodra ik die keuze gemaakt had, liep ik vast en veranderde ik mijn plan in twee krampachtige kubussen op poten, die schuin voorovergebogen waren en die als twee kijkers op de wibautstraat keken. Beide kubussen gaven via de achterzijde een ander uitzicht op de stad. Ik vond de kubussen op zichzelf mooie ontwerpen geworden. Maar het was te statisch en kwam niet overeen met wat ik wilde.

Uiteindelijk heb ik mijn plan omgegooid en ben ik verder gegaan met de organische sculptuur die voor mij veel meer mogelijkheden bood. Misschien paste deze minder bij mijn doelstellingen, maar hij stond dichter bij mij. Ook kon ik met deze vorm naar mijn idee het surrealistische aspect beter verwezenlijken.
Voor mijn gevoel was ik nu op het moeilijkste punt van het project aangekomen. Het gedetailleerd bekijken en onderzoeken van de vorm. Moest er ruimte zijn tussen de twee materialen en de grond, waar zou de opening komen, moest de organische vorm ronder zijn of hoekiger enzovoort? Na veel uitproberen van verschillende mogelijkheden heb ik gekozen voor een iets rondere vorm en besloten om ruimte tussen de twee materialen te creëren en ook tussen de ijzeren plaat en de ondergrond. Hierdoor ontstonden schaduwvlakken om het gebouw heen die de vorm versterkten en de scherpte van het ijzeren vlak benadrukte.

Om dit aspect beter naar voren te laten komen heb ik een glimmende zwarte plaat onder het gebouw gemaakt waardoor het blok lijkt te zweven omdat er nu schijnbaar ook een schaduwvlak onder het gebouw is en het gebouw daarmee als het ware opgetild wordt.
De vorm van het gebouw wilde ik niet laten beïnvloeden door de opening. Daarom heb ik gekozen voor een ondergrondse ingang. De ingang is even groot als het blok dat als ondersteuning tussen de zwarte ondergrond en de ijzeren plaat zit.

Thinking out of the white cube

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Parooldriehoek is a triangular piece of land, somewhere in Amsterdam-Oost. A piece of land with little character, between the busy Wibautstraat and the train tracks. I hadn’t really ever noticed this plot, and I started to wonder why. It’s not that I never pass through that part of the city; I visit the adjacent club Trouw regularly. Maybe that’s the problem.

Every time I’m there, it’s night. And there’s not very much to see there during the day, let alone during the night. It’s a very dark and uninviting piece of land. Some even say they feel uneasy walking in the area after dark and that is where I could change something.

I was going to give the city something to be proud of, and I was going to make this little triangle memorable and comforting. I wanted not only to make the outside a part of the interior (much like Gerrit Rietveld himself used transparency whilst designing buildings) but I also wanted the surroundings to be affected positively by the presence of a new building. I wanted to make this a place people wanted to visit instead of wanting to avoid it.

With this in mind, I designed a glass library, a place that hides nothing in the dark, but shows everything. Just like the inspiring architecture of Rietveld’s academies. Two fine examples (one in Amsterdam and the other in Arnhem) of how a construction of steel and glass can give a large building a very light aesthetic. Two buildings from which the outside and inside are of great influence on each other.


The least construction

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The most amusing thing in Rietveld’s construction is the combination of the large window, horizontal and vertical lines.

The important factor of Rietveld, which is linking the inside and outside of large window gives not only physical visual effect, but also the feeling that it is as if the space is being expanded in the mind. That is why I thought that the space he made is not fixed, and is flexible in terms of mental and physical condition.

Therefore, the point of my work is expansion and communication of space, and minimization of boundary.

The forest (small park or also called Parool-driehoek) is the only empty space in the area and the only nature.

That is why if people make something artificial there, it should be at the least, and that it should have synergy effect to people who enjoy the only small nature and give the least damage.

That is why I have thought about de architecture. It is construction, but it is a construction with the most open form and it can have form at the least level whenever desired, and if necessary, it can have different size, which was what I wanted. It is because I have always thought that construction makes much break off.

I wanted to make a building with only windows with the most maximized form. It can be glass wall or also a frame without glass. I want to attempt a building which exists as part of the great nature, and not a building with external environment drawn inside. So, a building which exists for nature, and which exists for the people who enjoy the nature, and which has only the least function,


first impressions

Saturday, October 30, 2010

[comment by Aisha Fouad]

What really struck me of the Rietveld buildings I first saw is the way of arranging views from inside the building. Rietveld buildings have a certain lightness, a perfect balance of open and closed. Somehow they blend in with the environment and the surroundings, even though the Rietveld buildings are modern, concrete and often built with straight lines.

The Calatrava building I saw in Valencia was the Palau de les Arts Reine Sofia. Me and a classmate decide to walk in stead of taking the bus, and we were excited at first when we discovered the building from a distance. It became more and more impressive when we approached it. Then, standing at the foot of the building, I felt disappointment. The greatness did not work for me. The building made me insecure, like a monster that was asleep but could wake up any minute and eat me. It did not fit in with the surrounding park I think, or even in Spain. I wish I could have gone inside to experience the building and the views from the inside. Then I could double check my thoughts of the building and the surroundings, maybe I would understand it then.

I prefer Rietveld over Calatrava, I like the modesty that Rietveld radiates in his architecture (intended or unintended). Almost as if the open space within and around the building is the main subject, and not the beams and concrete walls. Calatrava's buildings seem more bombastic to me, almost an arrogant show off of what can be done in architecture. The building I saw was impressive but it did not fit in the environment at all. I felt as if it was designed first and then placed randomly in the city. Opposed to Rietveld, I did not feel or understand Calatrava's intentions with this building.

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