Questo sito utilizza cookie, inclusi cookie di terze parti. Alcuni cookie ci aiutano a migliorare la navigazione nel sito, altri sono finalizzati a inviare messaggi pubblicitari mirati. Continuando la navigazione nel sito acconsenti al loro impiego in conformità alla nostra Cookie Policy, che ti invitiamo pertanto a consultare. Accedendo alla nostra Cookie Policy, inoltre, potrai negare il consenso all'installazione dei cookie

Elle Decor Italia

Van Schijndel House, Utrecht - minimal style and plenty of natural light

The residence of architect passed away in 1999 - now open to the public - is a modern interpretation of traditional Dutch residential architecture.

Finding Van Schijndel house in the small Pieterskerkhof square, in Utrecht, Netherlands, is not easy, as villa is hidden behind another building designed by the same architect in 1995, three years after finishing the project for his own house where he lived until his death in 1999.

To better understand Van Schijndel house it is first necessary to make a basic point about Dutch residential architecture - most of Netherlands’ dwellings feature a ‘front house’, facing the street or the canal, and a ‘back house’ - the two are often divided by an indoor patio, allowing the light in despite the absence of windows on the side walls. Mart Van Schijndel (1943-1999) revolutionized this way of designing, removing the indoor patio and letting the light in trough side courtyards, slightly oblique to the building, to get maximum brightness.

The decision to build with such architectural constraints - relating to natural light - forces the architect to invent new solutions to new problems - for example, the ingenious opening mechanism of the double doors to the courtyard, intersecting at less than 90 degrees.

The house, conceived by the Dutch architect as a psychological self-portrait, won the Rietvel Award in 1995 and became the most recent municipal monument in Utrecht and in the entire country. "My house is just interiors" wrote the architect, who also designed the famous Delta Vaas. 

The color of the walls, in pastel shades relating to natural light, was created by the architect himself, as well as the furniture: chairs, lamps, wall bookcases, and the kitchen unit, which doors are fixed only by silicone strips. 

Poetic and literary references are very important to Van Schijndel's design which, in its minimalist style, blends Japanese inspirations and an almost Mediterranean use of light. The dwelling is part of Iconic Houses (an international network linking architecturally significant homes built from the 20th century and open to the public). Visits are available every first Sunday of the month by guided tour; reservation required.

by Paola Testoni / 4 March 2016


Architecture collection


16 treasure cities

World tour 2018: 16 best destinations



Comfort zone

Oslo Airport: a terminal to feel at ease

public buildings


Holiday containers

Crane-turned-hotel in Amsterdam



Japanese Gardens Abroad

11 Locations to discover the art of the Japanese garden for a moment of serenity and contemplation



A Powerhouse Hotel

Snøhetta in the Powerhouse spotlight



Infinite Maya

Cutting-edge technology reveals the secrets of past cultures



Lakeside lookout

Design and tradition blend on the shores of Songhua Lake, China



Nomadic Homes

An entire book about moving homes for free spirits

libri di design


Living in a water pipe

Concrete tube-shaped micro apartments for Hong Kong residents


Hearst Magazines Italia


Pubblicità | Link utili | Cookies policy | privacy policy siti web | Comunicato tariffe politiche elettorali