The Sonneveld House has been a much anticipated visit on my architectural pilgrimage agenda. During a recent trip to Rotterdam for the Architecture Film Festival, I spent part of an afternoon wandering through the house with very few other visitors around.
Unfortunately, at that time the entire second floor was closed off for re-painting, which meant missing out on viewing and photographing the living and dining areas. Despite not physically experiencing this main living space, I could still fully appreciate the total concept of the design by the architects, J.A. Brinkman and L.C. van der Vlugt, in applying a radical style departure from the vernacular residential designs of the era as well as incorporating the latest technical advances in fixtures, utilities and furniture production for the interior.
Their client, Albertus Sonneveld, was already well-versed with Van der Vlugt's industrial commission of the Van Nelle Factory [now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site] where Mr. Sonneveld had become the co-director of the tobacco department. The Sonneveld family was progressive-minded and committed to creating a modern home with the newest conveniences of the day, thereby creating a Gesamtkunstwerk - a complete synthesis of design elements for all the interior spaces with the exterior form of the house and the garden plan as well.
oil and pencil on beechwood panel; 30 x 22.5 cm
I was inspired to paint again for the continuing series of architecture themed paintings that I had began years ago!