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Publication date 10 November 2022

Rietveld Houses Owners Association

  • Private house Van Ommeren with doctor's practice, Gerrit Rietveld, Elst 1947-1949. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Rietveld’s Van Daalen House, Gerrit Rietveld, Bergeijk 1958. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Private house Van Dantzig, Gerrit Rietveld, Santpoort-Zuid 1959-1960. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Private house Smedes 2, Gerrit Rietveld, Bennekom 1955-1956. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Private house Van Ommeren with doctor's practice, Gerrit Rietveld, Elst 1947-1949. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Rietveld’s Van Daalen House, Gerrit Rietveld, Bergeijk 1958. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Private house Van Dantzig, Gerrit Rietveld, Santpoort-Zuid 1959-1960. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.
  • Private house Smedes 2, Gerrit Rietveld, Bennekom 1955-1956. Photo courtesy Rietveldhuizen VVE.

There are several architects in the 20th century who mainly focused on designing residential houses, like Richard Neutra who is credited with designing more than 300 homes. Many of the current owners of these houses are now dealing with restoration issues. Some have united to share knowledge with each other.

Neutra owners have just started getting organized. Another American initiative, the Eichler Network has existed for quite some time. Since 1993 this network has provided a service directory of companies whose services and products enhance the unique modern homes and lifestyles of the Eichler Homes homeowners. This selection of Eichler Network Preferred Service Companies saves the homeowners a lot of time and misery of trial and error.

Owners of Le Corbusier buildings meet once a year to assess restoration issues under the guidance of the Fondation Le Corbusier’s architect Bénédicte Gandini. In Belgium, a network of owners of buildings designed by architect Huib Hoste visits each other's homes and exchanges useful information on restoration topics. Another network on our radar is an informal group of the institutions that manage built heritage of Mies van der Rohe in Europe, created by Fundació Mies van der Rohe in Barcelona, consisiting of: Haus Lange and Esters in Krefeld; Weissenhoff Stutgart; Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona; Villa Tugendhat in Brno; Lemke House in Berlin (Mies van der Rohe Haus) and Neue Nationalgallerie in Berlin.

All the directors were invited to Barcelona for the first time in december 2019, at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Mies van der Rohe death, with a 3-days symposium. They decided then to organise a yearly meeting in person, each time hosted by one of the institutions, but Covid made it impossible. They keep in touch and inform about each other’s activities, and collaborate in some joint events: for instance, Fundació Mies van der Rohe is collaborating with Mies van der Rohe Haus in their 'Mies goes future' project, and the Neue Nationalgallerie has also contributed to this project.

Since 2019, owners of houses designed by Gerrit Rietveld in the Netherlands are also associated in a network, named Rietvelhuizen VVE (VVE meaning owners association in Dutch). The Rietveld Houses Association is a platform for the exchange of information regarding maintenance, restoration and sustainability among owners and residents of houses designed by Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964).

The Association was founded in 2019 based on the strong belief that the best guarantee for preservation of Rietveld’s homes is the love and care of their owners and residents. Not just Rietveld’s iconic works are worthy of being preserved, the complete oeuvre should be kept intact for future generations. For it is in the vast variety of the designs that his quality and originality clearly emerge.

Members of the Association – owners, stewards, residents, and friends – support each other in making the properties future-proof. Through the newsletter and website, members share experience and knowhow on maintenance, restoration and sustainability, post news about selling and buying and exchange any further information that could be of interest. Contact between members is enhanced by meetings, lectures, excursions, and open house visits.

There are about 100 private houses designed by Gerrit Rietveld, 55 of which are members of this association. There are also about 40 interested members who do not own a Rietveld house.

The ‘Visiting together’ program has been a great success so far; in 2022, 7 Rietveld houses have been visited by a total of about 100 participants.

The following private houses were visited: Theissing house in Utrecht; Smedes house 1 in Den Dolder and Smedes house 2 in Bennekom; Van Ommeren house in Elst; Van Daalen house in Bergeijk; Van Dantzig house in Santpoort-Zuid and Bosschaert house in Laren. The participants, but also the owners are very enthusiastic. Visiting the houses together creates a bond between the members, who then exchange experiences about making the houses more sustainable and maintaining them. This is completely in line with the aim of the association, to preserve the heritage of Gerrit Rietveld.

Membership is open to all who are interested in supporting the aims of the Association.

For more information about membership and subscription to the newsletter, please send an email to: info@rietveldhuizen-vve.nl or visit the website www.rietveldhuizen-vve.nl.

Publication date 10 November 2022