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July 22: Rotterdam – Huis Sonneveld

Part of the NAi campus is the Huis Sonneveld, a wonderfully preserved example of original-era Dutch modernism (the Nieuwe Bouwen style). It was designed by Leendert van der Vlugt and built in 1933, and restored in 2001. Audio tours took us all over the Huis.

1915

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Gauzy sunlight drifts in onto a corner windowsill.

1916

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A sufficiency of chrome.

1920

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A most elegant spiral stair.

1923

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This orange awning outside the living room windows uncannily foreshadows the 1970s.

1924

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This lion cannot quite believe what he is seeing.

1931

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The close-knit family of stools huddle together in their native habitat: the corner office.

1934

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Trigger warning: red.

1938

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A stylish little pass-through between the kitchen and dining room. I like how it's nestled into the cabinets on both sides.

1939

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An adorable little gas stove.

1943

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And an adorable little fridge!

1944

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And a looming exhaust hood.

1946

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And, of course, a dumbwaiter.

1948

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I'm very curious what this countertop material is. It looks like a contemporary resinous composite, like Corian. Maybe it's a sort of terrazzo.

1949

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Down the service stairs. It would be fun to hang out in that little niche at left behind the railing, if one were small enough to fit.

1953

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This cute li'l model is not of the Huis, but maybe of another of Van der Vlugt's projects.

1960

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Wow! I'm not sure which room this is in, or how the translucency is varied like that, but what a pretty effect.

1961

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Surprise vanities.

1972

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Is this a built-in mirror? I can't figure out what else it would be. Maybe I would remember if I hadn't taken four years to caption this photo. #procrastination

1975

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Maybe with this rather pretty metallic paint, Van der Vlugt was trying to get as close to chrome walls as building technology allowed.

1980

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What was that? I can't hear you over how glossy this desk is.

1982

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Hey, it's a big ol' key party.

1985

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Minty!

1993

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Oops, everyone else is waiting outside to go back into NAi. Guess I was just appreciating architecture too much.

1997

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You thought a handrail was for gripping? Ha!

2000

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Box and bags from way back in the day.

2005

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It looks like a mini-skyscraper is growing out of the Huis, but it's actually the Bilderberg Parkhotel beyond.