Guest curator Petra Blaisse offers a totally new experience of Sonneveld House with one ingenious intervention, that responds to the three key principles of Dutch Functionalism: light, air and space.
Guest curator Petra Blaisse offers visitors a totally new experience of Sonneveld House with one ingenious intervention. Interior designer and landscape architect Blaisse explores the limits of architecture with her office Inside Outside by enhancing or temporarily transforming the unique qualities of buildings and their outdoor spaces. Blaisse is renowned for the soft yet compelling way she separates or envelops space with monumental curtains.
The first floor of Sonneveld House consists of a sequence of open spaces that feature a wonderful collection of chrome furniture and lamps by furniture producer Gispen. Generous expanses of fenestration set in elegant steel frames ensure an almost seamless connection with the surrounding garden. When daylight floods the interior, the room and furniture appear almost to float.
With this intervention Inside Outside responds to the three key principles of Dutch Functionalism: light, air and space. The simple yet efficient insertion distorts the perspective of visitors, exposing ‘the other side’ of Sonneveld House and enhancing the relation between inside and outside.
The Sonneveld House
Careful restoration work and interior refurbishment has turned Sonneveld House into a magnificent monument. The danger of a museum house, however, is that it is frozen in time. After all, the residents who brought the house to life have departed. That is why Het Nieuwe Instituut decided to activate the monument from time to time by inviting an artist, designer or architect to make a 'site specific' installation. The confrontation with a present-day design practice transports the museum house into the contemporary design world. The first guest curator was Richard Hutten in 2013.
Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse
Inside Outside was founded in 1991 by interior designer and landscape designer Petra Blaisse. The office employs a multidisciplinary team of artists, architects, landscape architects and designers. Inside Outside specializes in the design of exhibitions, curtains and landscapes. Always aiming to create dynamic environments, the designers make use of living materials, colour, light, sound and time. Well-known projects to which Inside Outside has contributed interior and landscape designs are: the Kunsthal and Museumpark (1994) in Rotterdam and Seattle Central Library (2004). The office was also responsible for the Dutch entry to the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale entitled RE-SET, new wings for architecture.
A select overview of media coverage for Sonneveld House² can be found here.
Visit the Sonneveld House online: www.huissonneveld.nl
Sonneveld House, Het Nieuwe Instituut’s museum house, was designed for Albertus Sonneveld and his family in 1933 by architecture firm Brinkman en Van der Vlugt. The family belonged to the cultural elite of Rotterdam, where Albertus Sonneveld was a director of the Van Nelle Factory. Inspired by his many business trips to America, he and his family made a radical conversion to a modern lifestyle. The Sonneveld House website shows how the family’s embracement of a modern lifestyle coloured their daily existence.
Website visitors can reconstruct the story of the Sonnevelds according to their own interests by following one of the theme lines or clicking on objects in the various spaces of the house, each of which tells something about the family history, architecture, interior, artefacts, or Rotterdam in the 1930s. The house has been photographed specially for the website by Johannes Schwartz. Additional images, such as family photographs, drawings and documents, come from the Sonneveld family archive and from the company archives of Gispen and Brinkman and Van der Vlugt.
Sonneveld House, Rotterdam
Tuesday — Saturday
10.00 — 17.00
Sundays and national holidays
11.00 — 17.00