Rietveld Chauffeur's house Van der Vuurst De Vries - Utrecht
The house was designed in 1927-1928 by renowned architect Gerrit Rietveld for the chauffeur of the Van der Vuurst De Vries family. This family was very influential. They owned an art gallery, architectural firm, clothes shop and a bank, among other things. In this way, the family played an important role in the city, especially in the field of culture.
The chauffeur's house consists of a garage with a three-room flat above it. This building too became remarkable, especially compared to the row of houses next door from 1920. Rietveld used the commission to experiment with prefabrication, not yet common at the time. This required parts with a fixed dimensional ratio. He clad a cubic iron skeleton with black concrete slabs with white dots. By fixing them sometimes horizontally, sometimes vertically, he created an alternating façade pattern. The small windows were fitted into the pattern of the concrete slabs. To provide the upper house with enough light, the living room was given a bay window and there was a glass extension on the roof, above the hall and kitchen.
Rietveld called the house 'an experiment in the industrialisation of construction', but because there were so many leaks, it was soon nicknamed 'the basket' and 'the sieve'. The house has since been restored with respect for its original form.
As there are copyrights on Rietveld buildings, we show an architectural photo to illustrate.