Rietveld Crate Chairs



Furniture maker and architect Gerrit Rietveld’s lifelong passion was to make objects with aesthetic qualities available to a wider public.

The Utrecht based Rietveld made his first ‘crate furniture’ in 1934. He used wood from ‘crates’ that was usually used as packaging material. In the nineteen-thirties, years of economic cirsis, nothing was wasted. Seen in that perspective, the current crisis can be very beneficial if something this nice gets created.

It was revolutionary for those days to sell the crate chair as a do-it-yourself kit, and that it was deliverable in various colors. Rietveld also made a couple of childrens crate chairs for his daughter, wich are about a third smaler.* For reasons** the big crate chair and the junior crate chair are made re-available by the grandson of Rietveld. However they are made from new wood and one coulds say that in a way they lost there hardcore superuse spirit.

If you want to make Rietveld furniture yourself, you can buy this book: Rietveld Meubels Om Zelf Te Maken, written by Pieter Drijver, published by: Uitgeverij Thoth, ISBN: 9789068682809

Designer: Gerrit Rietveld (1888 – 1964)

Project: Crate Chairs (1934)

Superused: Crates

*Trash isn’t worth anything? The original chairs (see picture) are sold for € 10.200 on a Christies auction in 2008 – http://daddytypes.com/2008/09/15/crate_chair_junior_by_gerrit_rietveld_reissued_by_other_rietvelds.php

** commercial? artistic? Though it is commercial, it can be offcourse nice to have such furniture in your house, office, kindergarten. I’m a bit double on this subject. Maybe a diy Rietveld made from scrap wood than is best!

John Bosma – July 17th, 2010

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Toon Verberg