Rietveld Pavilion at the Kröller-Müller Sculpture Garden


Location: Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
Project Years: 1955 (Arnhem, the Netherlands), 1965 (Kröller-Müller Museum) and 2010 (rebuilt)
Photographs: Pedro Kok

© Pedro Kok

In 1955, Gerrit Rietveld (1884-1964) designed a pavilion for the display of small sculptures at the Third International Sculpture Exhibition in Arnhem’s Sonsbeek Park. This ‘Sonsbeek Pavilion’ was intended as a temporary structure, and it was dismantled when the exhibition was over. However, many people had been greatly impressed by its simplicity, and ten years later, on the initiative of several Dutch architects, the building found a permanent home in the Kröller-Müller Museum’s sculpture garden, under a new name: the ‘Rietveld Pavilion’. On 8 May 1965 the pavilion was officially inaugurated with an exhibition of sculptures by Barbara Hepworth.

© Pedro Kok

From the very outset, the maintenance of the Rietveld Pavilion was a constant source of concern. The main questions were how to protect the minimalist structure (made of concrete, brick, steel, glass, wood and paint) against the ravages of time without compromising its delicate, temporary character, and how to preserve this more or less faithful replica of the Arnhem pavilion (which was originally intended to be temporary) for posterity. Every conceivable method was considered and tried, from conservation and restoration to copying and replacing parts of the building, but it eventually became clear that the structure was beyond saving.

© Pedro Kok

The 1965 pavilion has now been disassembled. Today, in 2010, the museum has rebuild the structure with new materials, while adhering as closely as possible to Gerrit Rietveld’s original design. Wherever possible, parts of the 1965 pavilion that were still in adequate condition have been reused. Construction work began in January 2010 and finished in September of this year. The new, third version of the pavilion now stands in the museum’s sculpture garden, preserving Rietveld’s world-famous design for the future.

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Rietveld Pavilion at the Kröller-Müller Sculpture Garden" 14 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=81555>
  • Lime

    Just love the vent bricks

  • http://www.getmethod.com Evan Troxel

    I really love the side-stacked block, and the structural detailing is really nice. But I have one question:

    Why the glass panels?

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    The good old times… when real architecture heve been…

  • http://bouwkunst.tumblr.com bouwkunst

    beautiful, and built with basic, inexpensive materials as well (a dutch tradition it seems..), well photographed!

  • ohtwo

    Nice. Airy, elegant, serene.

  • Najla

    What caught my eye about this building is its simplicity. It blends with the environment yet gives a statement. It appears to have no boundaries for there is no direct separation between the indoor and the outdoor. It could be also considered a sculpture itself due to the choice of materials used.

  • http://johsoninsurance.info insurance.va.gov

    Hey Dane, whatever?

    -Warmest regards

  • http://www.home2garden.co.uk/acatalog/Online_Catalogue_Garden_Gifts__20.html aikenjones

    Great architect. I like this place.

  • Mauricio

    great building!
    where i can found the plans?

  • fateme

    i^m an architecture student and i was not so interested to that but when i read your articles and study about them i changed a lot
    i will be so happy if you guide me about some temporary pavilions or pavilions in small scale!
    i mean some thing like an small exhibit