Rietveld villa illuminated in style

Lighting plan Rietveld villa – Woonhuis Van Dantzig (1959)


The villa, known as The Van Dantzig house, is situated in the wooded area of Santpoort, near the city of Haarlem. Designed for steel manufacturer Van Dantzig in 1959, it is considered to be among architect Gerrit Rietveld’s most impressive designs. The villa consists mainly of geometric shapes and is partly built on a dune.

Rear facade

Spot On designer Paulo van Cuijck used the characteristics of De Stijl as a premise for the lighting design for the villa. As a basic construction, the house has a steel skeleton with clearly visible profile beams. Spot On chose to make this geometry visible at night, by illuminating the profiles. Narrow beam spotlights placed within the beams, create a gentle gradient of light. This way, the construction is revealed, thus prevents a flat appearance. The house is given a distinctive graphic framing.

To lighten a dark corner next to the garage, one of the original glazed bricks in the exterior wall has been replaced by a luminous brick. The rest of the garden lighting scheme is yet to be realized which will include bollards resembling the profile beams of the house.

Rietveld applied various colour planes in the house. Using wall wash and graphic lighting technique, the pastel walls and the blue garage doors are now lit evenly and colourfast at night.

The interior lighting also serves the architecture. Some modernist classics by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand have been applied. Other fixtures perfectly match in style or are integrated unobtrusively. The lines of sight in the house are emphasized by light, the light from the skylights is mimicked at night.

The lighting design revives the Van Dantzig house in a unique, respectful and modernist way.

The new lighting scheme was part of a total renovation of the house. This project was carried out in cooperation with Denkwerk Architectuur, Vrolick Bouw- en Aannemingsbedrijf, Innovat Projecten and Itterzon Elektrotechniek. Exterior photography: Eep Photo.