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Retro Mid Century Modern Apartment

by Support Team .

Friday, October 23, 2015

Albertus Sonneveld, running the Van Nelle Fabriek factory, was the man in charge of all the tea, coffee and tobacco found in the Netherlands, and therefore a rich man. But he was a rich man in the first generation – energetic and enlightened, ardent admirer of America, where he spent his youth.

Johannes Brinkmann and Leendert van der Flyuht, who built Van Nelle Fabriek, received an order for construction of the house. Although trusting, Sonneveld strictly checked everything. The architects had designed three layouts before they came up with that one satisfying the owners.

Image source: Pinterest

While the authorities were holding back with the approval on the purchase of the land, they moved from the huge and complex plans to more compact, then again to more free ones – after all, the land made it possible.

Image source: Pinterest

The large house consisted of two houses at the same time:

  • a house for the owners and a house for servants, who lived royally on the ground floor in separate rooms, even though with cost-efficient shower room in the middle in the manner of an international coupe
  • the maid and the cook had their own dining room, enclosed near a window in a large kitchen. The rooms of daughters Pak and Ge, located on the upper floors, were slightly different from the maids’ rooms and a bit more spacious and comfortable, adjoining a bathroom.

Image source: Pinterest

A master bedroom, neighboring with a large dressing room and the bathroom, had a round table and mirror for cosmetics. It was an important place: Mrs. Sonneveld is remembered as an eccentric lady, always dressed like she was going to the opera: diamonds in her ears, even on a morning walk with Teddy.

More interesting features of the house include:

  • a shower with massage jets, much talked about in the city
  • very expensive floors
  • a central audio system built into the furniture, which allowed transmitting music to all rooms of the house
  • an internal telephone existed in addition to the outside line

Since the couple liked to be together, a master desk and a mistress desk were both in the living room. In the chronicle of those years the tobacco king and queen were sitting on the veranda and smoking.

Image source: Pinterest

Everything that was done in the house, everything that was bought in it, had its own name – from chairs and lamps to the dishes in the kitchen. The designers worked on the color and light.

Image source: Pinterest

Initially, Tonet designers worked out the interiors designs, but the owners did not like it, so the order was given to the Gispen Dutch design firm and its creator and owner Willem Hendrik Gispenu. He designed furniture and light.

Image source: Pinterest

And here one can realize how carefully designed, comfortable and beautiful was this life – modernism is blamed for overcrowding and poverty in vain. Just look at the 17 m high window in the living room, which once overlooked the green field, and now is overlooking constructions built since then in Rotterdam on precepts of modernism. And it’s worth saying they have been built rather well.

Image source: Pinterest

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