Icons at Risk

Registration and Program IH Conference 15-18 May

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)

Restoring the past: The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Home Studio

Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association

Latin America Special – Focus on Mexico

De Stijl in Drachten

Preserving the Nancarrow House-Studio

Meet the Friends - Nanne de Ru

Latin America Special – Focus on Brazil

Iconic Houses Lecture Tour - The Weizmann House

Jan de Jong’s House is Latest Hendrick de Keyser Acquisition

Stay in a Belgian Modernist Masterpiece

In Berlin’s Modernist Network

Rietveld-Schröder House Celebrates De Stijl Anniversary

Meet Our New Foundation Board Members

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

Iconic Dacha

11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List

At home with Le Corbusier

Our Badge of Honour

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Follow us!

Casa Batlló's innovative Video Guide

Documentary La Ricarda

Richard Hutten at the Sonneveld House

Rent a house designed by Gerrit Rietveld

Barragán House on Screen

Gesamtkunstwerk – An Icon on the Move

Maurice Drue Parrish named Executive Director of Farnsworth House

Triennale der Moderne 27 September - 13 October 2013

Prestigious Art Nouveau mansions in Brussels open

September 14 + 15: Heritage Days in Paris

June's New Arrivals: Museum Apartments

Iconic Houses is now on Twitter and Facebook

Corbu’s Cabanon: Reconstruction and Lecture

Projekt Mies In Krefeld: Life-sized model of the Krefeld Clubhouse

New arrivals: Spain special

MAMO: Le Corbu’s ‘Park in the Sky’ open 12 June

Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen

Message from the Editor

Neutra’s House on Screen

Melnikov House on Screen

Iconic Houses in the media

Message from the Editor

Eileen Gray House on Screen

Copy Culture

William D. Earls on the Harvard Five in New Canaan

Architect William Earls was responsible for the recent restoration of the Gores Pavilion, by Harvard Five architect Landis Gores. Based in Wilton, CT, he is also the author of the book The Harvard Five in New Canaan. Bill will be a panelist at our upcoming Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference in New Canaan 15-18 May.

What first sparked your interest in the Harvard Five?
I was driving around New Canaan and I kept coming across these Modern houses. They were out of favor at the time and seemed forgotten.

So you wrote your book, The Harvard Five in New Canaan, to record them.
Yes. Many of the houses were being torn down and replaced with larger, more traditionally styled houses. I wasn't really sure anyone else cared but me. I wrote the book I thought was interesting.

What were your most intriguing discoveries whilst researching the book?
I was fortunate enough to meet some of the original owners and architects. They felt like the town was their studio back in the day. Everyone talked architecture. Some locals hated the Modern houses and some loved them. I found that level of intensity very exciting.

What made you decide to become an architect?
I've always been interested in making physical objects beautiful. Building is an act of faith in the future, so it is also a very positive profession to be involved in.

As project architect for the restoration of the Gores Pavilion, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
It is a town-owned building, but they didn't appreciate it at first. They wanted to tear it down. Once we showed them that we could renovate it without using tax dollars, they changed their minds.

What are you proudest of concerning the renovation?
I am so happy that the building has a new life as an art gallery and show piece for Modern architecture.

How did the restoration affect your opinion of Landis Gores?
He was trying to reconcile the work of the American Frank Lloyd Wright and the European Mies van der Rohe. Instead of seeing them as opposites, he resolves them into something totally new.

Do you have a favorite Harvard Five house – or indeed architect?
They all have strengths and weaknesses, and are all worthy of further exploration. I’ve just scratched the surface.

What’s the book that still needs to be written about the Modern movement?
We need to take a serious look at what is being built now. I would love it if the public were as excited or outraged at new buildings as they were in New Canaan.

When visiting the Gores Pavilion, what should we notice?
Look at the open trusses overhead in the galleries. That is the structure, which carries the load of the slate roof to the freestanding columns outside of the building. The walls don't hold any weight at all.

What advice do you have for others restoring iconic buildings?
Always strive for simple beauty over novelty. That is what saves the life of a building in the long run.

William recommends watching the trailer of ‘The Harvard 5 – A story of love, design and architecture’ that tells the story of the intellectual and sociological struggle of Eliot Noyes, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson and John Johansen that ultimately redefined the significance of the sleepy, New England town of New Canaan.

Jane Szita
Publication date 15 February 2018