Van Eesteren Museum House

Photographers: Jordi Huisman & Joske Simmelink, 2023

The Van Eesteren Museum House is just a 10-minute walk from the museum, in the middle of the Western Garden City of Slotermeer. The museum house dates back to 1952 and has been returned to its original state and decorated with special objects and design classics from that time. In the home, you can (re) experience the modernist principles of the Goed Wonen, Good Living and the atmosphere of the 1950s.

The inventory — from Tomado bookshelves to colorful dinnerware — was donated by local residents and stakeholders and now forms the museum's collection.

Live well

“Taste is a matter of education”, was the idea behind the creation of the Good Living Foundation in 1946. With model homes and in a magazine, the foundation promotes modern interiors. With light furniture in a sleek layout, residents at home would be able to get the most out of their homes and thus of themselves. The modernist principles of the Goed Wonen Foundation are at the heart of the home: multifunctional and sleek furniture, new hygienic materials, and an ultra-modern Bruynzeel kitchen for that time.

The style advocated by the foundation is related to the New Building, a movement from the early twentieth century. These architects also strive for light interiors without non-functional decoration. Like the New Building, the founders of Good Living are idealistic; better living contributes to a better society.

Model homes
In various garden cities, the foundation sets up model homes where visitors can see what a 'well-appointed' home looks like. “Wrong” was heavy, dark furniture. “Good” was light and functional furniture by designers such as Willem Gispen, Kho Liang le, Johan Niegeman and Mart Stam. The manufacturers were Artifort, Pastoe, De Ploeg and't Spectrum. The furniture was sold at De Bijenkorf, Metz & Co and Bas van Pelt, among others. The foundation published books and a monthly magazine that focused on its innovative ideas about living. In 1956, there was a Goed Wonen model home in 'The Verfdoos', the building on Lodewijk van Deysselstraat.

Due to the crisis, material and space are scarce. That is why, in addition to steel (Gispen), many pieces of furniture are also made of rattan. To save space, Goed Wonen's furniture and utensils often had multiple functions. However, for most people, furnishing a home with only Good Living furniture was not financially feasible. So in the end, there is only a small group of people who really lived according to the principles of Good Living.

Want to see Goed Wonen in real life?

Then visit the Van Eesteren Museum's museum home. Here are the principles of Good Living, such as an extendable cutting board, a functional cabinet layout and pans that could also serve as a deck.

Want to know more?
Listen here Tjitske Mussche's VPRO report about Good Living is back. With Noud de Vreeze, who talks vividly about the innovation of living, and with Geertje Felix, who hasn't changed her Good Living interior since 1961.

Research place
Research place
Research place

The Museum House as a research place

Every year, the museum invites two designers, architects and/or curators to bring the museum home's collection into contemporary practice. They do this by analyzing and interpreting an object of their choice and translating it into contemporary practice.