Sonneveld House Rotterdam: Intervention by Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse

February 1 - September 13, 2015

From 1 February 2015 on, interior and landscape designer Petra Blaisse (Inside Outside) will offer the visitors of Sonneveld House a totally new experience with one ingenious intervention. Het Nieuwe Instituut invited Blaisse to respond to the original interior of the house from the 1930s. The resulting confrontation with a current design practice takes the historical museum house beside Het Nieuwe Instituut into the contemporary design world. The intervention is on view until 13 September 2015.

The first floor of Sonneveld House features a sequence of open spaces. Generous expanses of fenestration set in elegant steel frames ensure an almost borderless connection with the surrounding garden. When daylight floods the interior, the room and furniture almost appear to float. Inside Outside enhances that quality with one simple addition to both the interior and garden. By exposing 'the other side’ of Sonneveld House, Inside Outside strengthens the connection between inside and outside. With this addition the office responds to the three principles of Dutch Functionalism: light, air and space.

Sonneveld House was designed in the early 1930s by architecture firm Brinkman en Van der Vlugt in the Dutch Functionalist style. Featuring warm, clear colours and distinctive (tubular) furniture, the interior was created in collaboration with furniture designer W.H. Gispen. Within the framework of a ‘designer-in-residence’ programme, Het Nieuwe Instituut is inviting contemporary designers to react to the house. The first guest curator of Sonneveld House was Richard Hutten, whose intervention was on view from November 2013 to May 2014.

Inside Outside was founded in 1991 by interior and landscape designer Petra Blaisse. The design office employs a multidisciplinary team of artists, architects, landscape architects and designers. Inside Outside specialises in the design of exhibitions, curtains and landscapes.
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.

From 11 December on, Sonneveld House will have its own website. Visitors can reconstruct the story of the Sonnevelds on the basis of their own interests by clicking on various objects in the rooms of the house, which has been specially photographed for the new website by Johannes Schwartz. Additional pictures, such as family photographs, drawings and documents, are taken from the archive of the Sonneveld family and from the company archives of Gispen and Brinkman en Van der Vlugt.

Photos by Johannes Schwartz