Dutch Nieuwe Bouwen The Brinkman and Van der Vlugt architectural office, one of the most important and successful in the Netherlands between the wars, was the primary exponent of Dutch Nieuwe Bouwen. Johannes Brinkman (1902-1949) handled the technical aspects and left the design largely to Leendert van der Vlugt (1894-1936).
Brinkman and Van der Vlugt's main work was the Van Nelle tobacco, tea and coffee factory in Rotterdam (1926-1929). Despite its dimensions, the Van Nelle factory appears light due to its transparent mirror-glass curtain wall facade suspended in front of the metallic structure. A circular glass roof houses a cafeteria. The facade of the office building, accessed by a glass corridor, is arched. The buildings were designed by van der Vlugt in cooperation with civil engineer J.G. Wiebenga, at that time a specialist for constructions in reinforced concrete, and built between 1925 and 1931. It is one of the Netherland’s best examples Nieuwe Bouwen.Other works by Brinkman and Van der Vlugt included the headquarters of the Theosophical Union in Amsterdam (1925-1926) and the headquarters of Van Nelle in Leiden (1925-1927), as well as several residential buildings: the Van der Leeuw villa (1927-1928), the Sonneveld house (1932-1933), the Boevé house (1934) and the Feyenoord stadium in Rotterdam-South (1935-1936). They also designed a telephone booth (1931) which over time has become an iconic element of the Dutch urban landscape. With Willem Van Tijen they built the Bergpolder discoidal blue-collar skyscraper in Rotterdam (1933-1934), a ten-story housing complex with a steel structure and wooden walls and floors.
The Sonneveld House is one of the best-preserved houses in the Dutch Functionalist style. The villa was designed in 1933 by Brinkman and Van der Vlugt for Albertus Sonneveld, a director of the Van Nelle Factory. Architecture, interior and furnishings are perfectly coordinated and reinforce one another. Light and spacious, the house features numerous balconies and large areas of fenestration that offer views of the surrounding garden. Almost all items of furniture and lamps in the house were made by the firm of Gispen, some of them specially for the Sonnevelds.
© Alan John Ainsworth Photography