Sonneveld House

Molenaar & Van Winden Architecten, Rotterdam, 2001


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The west front of the Sonneveld House 

Jannes Linders     Download Original

  • The west front of the Sonneveld House    
  • West elevation    
  • North elevation    
  • The principal staircase. Like several other features of the property, it is quite Art Deco in character    
  • Looking from the first floor living room through to the library    
  • View from the library to the living room    
  • The primary colours of the restored dining room    
  • Connection between living room and dining room    
  • Original telephone    
  • The parents    
  • Turquoise tiling in the parents    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan    
  • The Van Nelle Factory, Rotterdam, designed by Brinkman & Van der Vlugt with Mart Stam    
  • The De Bruyn House in Schiedam, restored by Molenaar & Van Winden in 1987-88    

Restoration of Dutch modernist 1930s house, now open to the public as a showpiece for the functionalist movements Nieuwe Bouwen (New Building) and Nieuwe Wonen (New Housing)

The Sonneveld House, designed by Brinkman & van der Vlugt, was one of four villas built in the 1930s in the Dijkzigt Villa Park in the centre of Rotterdam.

The accommodation is arranged over three storeys surmounted by a roof terrace, with the main rooms on the first floor. It has a framework of steel columns and beams – sometimes expressed (the columns clad in black glass) but elsewhere concealed – which is infilled with masonry, and supports floors made of steel bridging joists and light concrete plates.

A curtain between the dining-room and living-room, and folding screen between the living room and library allow a degree of spatial flexibility. The roof terrace, second-floor balconies and first-floor veranda, and the extensive glazing all provide plenty of contact with the outdoors.

The house has been carefully restored, but it has not been made to look brand new – the patina of use has been left in evidence with worn rubber on the stairs, scuffed chrome and chipped veneer. The recreation of the internal colour scheme is particularly striking as it offers evidence that the Modern Movement was not just neutral or white.


  • Begun: 1997
  • Completed: 2001
  • Sectors: Arts and culture, House
  • Address: Jongkindstraat, Rotterdam, 3015 CG, Netherlands