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Research webinar “The remake of a ‘technically improved Rietveld’: the restorations of the Rietveld Schröder House by Bertus Mulder (1970s-80s)”, dr. Marie-Thérèse van Thoor, TU Delft

When:We 21-04-2021 17:15 - 18:00
Where:Online

The Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht was designed in 1924 by Gerrit T. Rietveld (1888-1964) for Mrs Truus Schröder-Schräder (1889-1985), as a home for her and her three young children. Known and celebrated as the architectural expression of the ideology and design ideas of the De Stijl movement, the house is just as much the expression of the personal attitude to life and wishes of the client who commissioned it. In Rietveld, Mrs Schröder felt she had found the ideal interpreter of her modern ideas.

She lived in the house until her death in 1985, during which time it underwent several changes and alterations. By the 1960s the house was showing the effects of inadequate maintenance and the need for a comprehensive restoration became increasingly urgent. In 1974 work began on the restoration of the exterior. The interior followed after Mrs Schröder’s death. Both restorations were carried out by the architect Bertus Mulder (b. 1929), who had worked with Rietveld in the early 1960s and knew his body of work better than anyone.

In his restorations, Mulder opted to return the house as much as possible to its original condition, whereby the re-establishment of the original concept was considered more important than presenting or respecting the history of the house and its occupancy. Since the restorations the house is once more a shining manifesto of De Stijl and modernist living.

Bio
Marie-Thérèse van Thoor (PhD) is architectural historian and associate professor in the chair of Heritage & Cultural Values at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. She participated in the exhibition & catalogue Rietveld’s Universe (2010), and was one of the editors of Sanatorium Zonnestraal, the history and restoration of a modern monument (2010), and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. Restoration and Transformation of a National Monument (2013). Her project Colour, Form and Space: Rietveld Schröder House challenging the future (2015-18) was awarded with a Keeping it Modern Grant from the Getty Foundation. Between 2011 and 2020 Marie-Thérèse van Thoor was editor in chief of the peer reviewed Journal Bulletin KNOB.