The BK Treasury Opens: Revealing the Archives

News - 11 October 2023 - Communication BK

On the 12th of October the BK Treasury will officially open its doors. Everyone is invited to come to the Oostserre between 17h and 18h to participate in this celebration of architectural and design history. For the coming weeks, the Treasury will display three chairs by iconic Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld, together with documents on their creation. The display cases will continue to exhibit a revolving cast of treasures for the foreseeable future.

In a faculty building whose corridors are filled with exhibitions on current research and student projects, the BK Treasury will serve as a showcase for the hidden gems of architectural collections, both from TU Delft and other Institutions. Visitors will marvel at the 160-year heritage of our university and be delighted by contributions from outside institutions and partners. Moreover, the Treasury will act as a catalyst for new developments at our faculty.

The first treasures: Rietveld’s chairs

This first exhibition at the BK Treasury shows some of the most extraordinary items in our collection: three original chairs by Gerrit Rietveld. As precious as these chairs are, they merely represent the tip of the iceberg. The faculty’s Chair Collection consists of over 300 items, with the oldest chairs originating well over a century ago. The Chair Collection’s main mission is to aid the education of new generations of young designer.

Rietveld donated seven of his chairs in 1964, on the occasion of receiving an honorary doctorate. These chairs illustrates Rietveld’s experimental approach to furniture design. He carefully selected them to aid the Chair Collection’s purpose: each is constructed from different materials or using different techniques, making them exceptionally well-suited for education. In more recent years, others have generously donated more Rietveld chairs, increasing our collection to a total of eleven original chairs and four replicas. 

Three original chairs by Gerrit Rietveld in the BK Treasury | Photo by: Alex Kirschstein
Rietveld receives his honorary doctorate.

More information

You can see the Rietveld chairs in the faculty’s collection by going to the website of BK collections.

Header photo by: Alex Kirschstein