Rietveld’s Mgr. Verriet’s
home for children
people know that the sole tropical project designed by
Gerrit Rietveld has been built on Curaçao. Rietveld
became known for his Rietveld-Schröder House built in
1924 in Utrecht, The Netherlands, which has been
recently placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
Architect, carpenter and innovator, Rietveld was a
member of “De Stijl” movement established in 1917 which
advocated new functionalism in modern architecture.
Rietveld designed a home for disabled children at Santa
Maria on Curaçao in 1949 demonstrating an extraordinary
sense of place and people. He designed open living
galleries and sleeping quarters under a large roof
protected by breathing shutter façades. A sensitive
integration of climate, culture and functional aspects,
the architecture of the children’s home can be
considered a curriculum for tropical building.
Acknowledged as an outstanding piece of tropical
architecture, designation of Rietveld’s creation as a
monument is under way.
Dr. R.G. Gill
The funds for
redevelopment and preservation are provided by the
Island Government of Curaçao, the Government of The
Netherlands and the private sector.
Monuments Foundation, the Willemstad Urban
Rehabilitation Corporation and the Curaçao Housing
Foundation have their own budgets and funds for
financing their restoration and building projects.
For the next decade an investment of some 15 million
Antillean guilders per annum is needed to continue
restoration activities within the inner city of
Willemstad and the monuments outside the city.
To boost preservation
activities, a system of subsidies and soft loans has
been developed under a Multi-Year Funding Program.
Implementing organization is the Curaçao Monuments Fund
Owners of monuments, private or
institutional alike, are eligible for subsidies which
are granted following a standard system. The subsidy for
monuments with a residential use is higher than for
those with a non-residential use.
In the past ten years 180 restorations were completed,
81 restorations were financed through The Curaçao
The total expenditure for pure
restoration activities amounted to some 95 million
Antillean guilders, while the total investment in
monuments reached 135 million, 55% funded by both
governments and 45% by the private sector.
Because the bulk of
monuments is privately owned, incentives provided by the
government to encourage and boost preservation is
Apart from subsidies and soft loans, tax
relief measures are operational for owners of monuments.
These include tax allowance for the costs of maintenance
of monuments and in certain cases also exemption from
import duties for building materials to be used for the
restoration of monuments. Exemption from land tax is
Curaçao Monuments Fund