‘Typotekt Interior’
Piet Zwart, the church and tubular steel furniture

Corneel van den Bruinhorst, Art Historian.
Ad van den Bruinhorst, specialist Dutch Modernism.

Through our research from 2014 to 2015 we have been able to determine that:

Piet Zwart designed the furniture with gas tube frames for the church in The Hague in 1926. On top of that we found out that he had designed a cradle with a tubular frame constructed of pipe tube in 1922 for the Bruynzeel family living room.

Photo: Presentation drawing Umbrella stand, Piet Zwart, November 25, 1926, Collection Het Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam, Berl. 166,163

As a result of these findings, we will expand and solidify Piet Zwart’s role as a tubular furniture pioneer as well as add a new chapter on Dutch piping furniture to the history of the modern metal tubular furniture.

Furthermore, the starting point of the history of tubular furniture will shift from 1925 (first armchair with metal tubular frame by Marcel Breuer) to 1922 (the tubular frame cradle from Zwart).

In the new publication “Typotectic Interior”, the research results from 2014-15 are further elaborated and interpreted and the pipe furniture from Zwart is placed in the history of design for the first time.

In addition, extra attention is paid to the potential significance of this furniture for the first tubular furniture from Mart Stam, Gerrit Rietveld and Ben Merkelbach also made of piping.

Moreover, the analogy between Zwart’s gas tube furniture and his typographical work from the same period is demonstrated and discussed and a new meaning is added to his self-acclaimed title ‘Typotekt’.

Photo: Piet Zwart, Free Typographic Composition, 1925, collection and photo gallery Van den Bruinhorst

Two of the pieces of furniture that play a leading role our publication will be on display until May 26 at the Bauhaus / Netherlands exhibition at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam (The Netherlands).

Even though the findings and discoveries as mentioned in the bachelor thesis ‘Typotectic Interior’ by Cornelia van den Bruinhorst form the basis of our new publication, further research and advancing insights have at times led to a different analysis than that in the thesis.

Photo; Vestibule first Church Christ Scientist, restoration architect, rlalb, Anne Pauptit, 2005

Because it still takes a wile before our new book is published, we want to give you the opportunity to get acquainted with our research results through reading the BA thesis from 2015.

Please follow the link shown below to the application form in order to receive a pdf file by email.

Corneel van den Bruinhorst,BA Scriptie ‘Typotektisch Interieur’s1131443, Universiteit Leiden 2014-2015