Friday, June 3, 2016

huis sonneveld...elemental notes

After a few days of watching films at the Architecture Film Festival in Rotterdam last October, it was another visual feast to tour the Sonneveld House and experience a building "in the flesh" as it were. This meticulously maintained legacy of the Nieuwe Bouwen, the Dutch version of the International Modern style was commissioned and built almost 90 years ago for the Sonneveld family who relished every design innovation and technical novelty to enable a cohesive melding of furniture, decorative accessories and utilitarian fixtures with the architectural style of their new home.

The chrome-plated address plaque for the residence of Albertus H. Sonneveld at Jongkindstraat 12, Rotterdam [with the Het Nieuwe Instituut of architecture and design now located just down the street]

A vault-like door for the "DIENSTINGANG" [Service Entrance] with an intercom system to alert the occupants of the arrival of deliveries and anyone not deemed worthy for the front door access.

A W.H. GISPEN ceiling lamp in the master bedroom, with the newly developed GISO milky glass shade to reduce glare and diffuse the light. The whole house was furnished almost exclusively with the Dutch designer's tubular steel furniture and lighting innovations.

Elegantly designed SATCHWELL thermostats, one for daytime and the other for nighttime control. [The Satchwell manufacturing company had just been established in the U.K. in the early 1920's and is now based in South Africa.]

Wall clocks of the most minimalist design were installed in many of the rooms and connected to the electrical circuits for each room, which was still a novel feat for the 1930's! 

A sweetly printed sign to instruct the deliverymen to leave their orders beneath and to "adopt" nothing!

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