Gerrit Rietveld

Holland’s best-known architect and furniture designer from De Stijl movement

Gerrit Rietveld (Utrecht 1888-1964) is one of Holland’s best-known and most innovative architects, furniture makers and designers. Rietveld learned the furniture trade from his father and developed into the foremost architect of the art movement De Stijl.  Rietveld was involved in the Spectrum collection from an early stage. As early as the war years he was appointed by then director Piet Blijenburg as a member of the collection’s assessment committee. In the 1950s Rietveld designed various pieces of furniture for Spectrum.

Series of stools from the 1956 Spectrum collection, designed by Rietveld

In addition to his fame as an architect, Rietveld also gained great notoriety as a furniture designer. A lot of his furniture is part of the Centraal Museum collection in Utrecht. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the Drents Museum also have work by Rietveld in their collections. The Berlin chair is one of Rietveld’s most iconic works, alongside the Red Blue chair (1917). The Steltman chair, which Rietveld designed for Steltman Jewellers in The Hague in 1963, is also a true design classic. Our Rietveld Originals collection includes both real design classics and a number of Rietveld models that until recently had not been in production before, such as the Press Room Chair and the Armchair for Metz&Co. Fortunately, the original sketches have been preserved, so that these chairs could still be developed using the latest production techniques and are now gaining popularity!

Press Room Chair, designed by Rietveld in 1958
Portrait of Gerrit Rietveld, 1941

In 1919 Rietveld joined the art movement De Stijl as an independent architect. This brought him into contact with artists such as Robert van ‘t Hoff, Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg. Rietveld’s furniture designs from this period, in the characteristic primary colours (red, yellow, blue), are pure realisations of De Stijl’s ideas. In 1921 he met the interior designer Truus Schröder-Schräder for whom he designed the Schröderhuis in 1924, in close consultation.

Rietveld’s Red-blue chair in the interior of the Rietveld Schröder House

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