Gerrit Thomas Rietveld - Netherlands

Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (24.06.1888 – 25.06.1964) was a Dutch furniture designer and architect, and is considered one of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl. He became famous for his Red and Blue Chair and for the Rietveld Schröder House, which is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rietveld was born in Utrecht in 1888, and left school aged only 11 to be apprenticed by his father as a joiner. Later he enrolled at night school before working as a draughtsman for the jewelle C. J. Begeer. In 1917 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld opened his own furniture workshop. Up to this time, he taugth himself drawing, painting and model-making. It is regarded, that Gerrit Thomas Rietveld became an architect in 1919, and in 1923 he was invited by Walter Gropius to exhibit at the Bauhaus. One year later he designed his first building, the famous Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, which was elaborated in close collaboration with the owner Truus Schröder-Schräder. While the building features a conventional ground floor, the top floor is of a very radical design. This storey lacks fixed walls and instead relys on sliding walls to creat and change the living spaces. In 1928 Gerrit Thomas Rietveld broke with "De Stijl" and started to wark in a more functionalist style of architecture, called Nieuwe Zakelijkheid in the Netherlands, and in the same year he joined the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM). Rietveld was concerned with social housing and inexpensive production methods from the late 1920s onwards. But since all his commissions in the 1920s and 1930 came from private individuales, he was able to put his progressive ideas into practice only in the 1950s.

1930 - 1932  Row Houses in the Werkbund Settlement - Vienna