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‘100x Rietveld’ scalemodels (1:3)

Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) was probably most famous for his radical designs dating from the 1920s. However his career continued for another couple of decades, and during this period he designed some very diverse furniture.  Yet despite the wide variety in the designs, the basic principles for the majority of his furniture were simplicity, clarity and efficiency of construction.

The 100 scale models in this collection show a fascination with materials and construction that is highly representative of Rietveld’s work. In contrast with most scale models which use simplified materials, these have been built in the same way as the originals. Their builder, Harry Hoek, started work on the scale models in the early 1990s. Originally it was Hoek’s intention to make only a small number of Rietveld’s crate furniture. By making the crate furniture he wanted to demonstrate that there was an alternative to the white plastic garden chairs that everybody was buying at the time. However, he intended to show materials and construction techniques accurately. His decision to make scale models rather than exact replicas was merely motivated by the realization that full-size furniture would be too bulky to store after being exhibited. During his research into the crate furniture, Hoek discovered more and more other chairs that he would be able to make himself. Thus his selection of furniture to replicate was motivated by the simplicity of Rietveld’s construction methods.

View the different sorts of furniture of 100x Rietveld:

The selection of materials and construction methods used for the models was based on information and photographs found in books and drawings in the archive of the Municipal Museum in Amsterdam. Not all of the designs were originally carried out, but nevertheless these were all still relevant, since the subject of the series was Rietveld’s design activity and the development of the ideas, not his commercial production.

Working in his spare time, it took Hoek two to three years to complete the series. After an exhibition in the Rotterdam public library, the models toured the country. They also visited the Faculty of Architecture in Delft, where the collection was recognized as a valuable addition to the Rietveld chair collection. The Faculty bought the collection in 1998. Having sold his models Hoek was still not completely cured of his addiction; he has already started building a new, extended and updated series of Rietveld miniatures.

The information about the Rietveld furniture is derived from the following books and an interview with Harry Hoek on 20 July 2007.

Drijver, P., Niemeijer, J, How to construct Rietveld furniture, Thoth, Bussum 2001.
Küper, M., Zijl, I. van, Gerrit Th. Rietveld, Het volledige werk 1888-1964, Centraal Museum Utrecht, 1992. 
Vöge, P., The Complete Rietveld Furniture, 010 Publishers, Rotterdam 1993.

 

Tentoonstellingmaker Harry Hoek

Rietveld's Beugelstoelen

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