Sunday, December 9, 2012


Rietveld's furniture pieces were important as they were the precursors to his architectural work. As such, it is easy to  find similarities in the work and craftsmanship of his furniture to his buildings. In many of his buildings, Rietveld had built in furniture and storage units put in; these show that the buildings were designed by one who was well-trained in carpentry and joinery. In fact, Rietveld's early life consisted of being apprenticed to, and working for his father, a joiner in Utrecht. In 1915, while working and studying with the architect, P.J. Klaarhamer, Rietveld began creating some of his more inventive and innovative pieces of furniture as his attitude towards the construction of his furniture changed. Prior to this, most of Rietveld's work had been similar in style to the furniture of the time, albeit less ornamental. Now, he took these pieces and reassembled them in a manner, so that they seemed considerably lighter. His attitude towards the space that these pieces inhabited also changed: instead of displacing space, space was now allowed to permeate between structural members and move beyond. These ideas are clearly represented in his buildings - especially in the Rietveld-Schroder House where structural members are composed in such a manner where space is not displaced but works and moves between them (i.e. vertical stanchions and balcony). In 1917, Rietveld started his own furniture workshop where he was able to further experiment with new styles and ideas.

Rietveld's furniture and drawings in his early years and when he was working with Klaarhamer. Photos have been taken from The Work of G. Rietveld - Theodore Brown, pgs. 14 and 16, respectively.

Red & Blue Chair (1918) - painted after joining De Stijl.

The original Red & Blue Chair - unpainted.

Upright Chair.

Berlin Chair (1923)

End Table (1923).

Zig Zag Chair (1934)