Van Schijndel House
In early 1992, Van Schijndel, 49 years old, wrote to a good friend that he was building the first house he had designed for himself, where he hoped to live in the foreseeable future. He let him know that it was a dream home.
Mart van Schijndel (1943-1999) is one of the few architects in the Netherlands who easily managed to combine the innovative industrial production based modernism with distinctive postmodernist projects. Van Schijndel harbored a keen interest in technical innovations and possessed a talent for making the most of light and space as architectural components.
In 1987, Mart van Schijndel undertook the difficult task of designing a home for himself. He worked six years on this project, searching for the ideal design. In 1993, the house was completed. This is where he put into practice many of his ideas about architecture and design. The house at the Pieterskerkhof in Utrecht is as it were an autobiography of his ideas. The modern house is situated in the old centre of Utrecht. From the street, the dwelling is only partially visible. Hidden behind other buildings and sheltered from the bustling city, the house breathes an atmosphere of tranquillity. All the rooms open out onto the hall, which is also the living room and the central space of the house. The space is triangular and has two patios on either side. The large glass façades let in plenty of light, but show little of the environment as they are partly made of sandblasted glass.
This hidden house at Pieterskerkhof in Utrecht is a beautiful and special expression of his talent. For the design of the house he received the Rietveld Prize in 1995. In 1999, the municipality of Utrecht, added the Van Schijndel House as the youngest building to the listed Municipal Monuments. The house can match lasting inspiring examples from the international architectural history of the twentieth century. In 2014, George Marcus included the Van Schijndel House in his book "Total Design: Architecture and Interiors of Iconic Modern Houses".
This conceptual house of air and light presents a unique experience of space in its sculptural design. The basis of the design is in geometric patterns, where the architect focused on the bare essentials.
This ‘art of omission’ contributed to a number of experimental and exceptional details such as windows and doors that hinge on silicone glue, by which they are 'hung' on their stainless steel frames.
Hidden away on an inner courtyard in the heart of the centre of Utrecht, this astounding construction was awarded the Rietveld Prize in 1995.