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Save the Date! Conference 15-18 May 2018

Latin America Special – Focus on Mexico

Preserving the Nancarrow House-Studio

Meet the Friends - Nanne de Ru

Latin America Special – Focus on Brazil

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

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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

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Eileen Gray House on Screen

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Join us in Los Angeles! Update

Shake it up at the Sheats-Goldstein House!


January 2016 - LA means Hollywood – and no residential architect has inspired the moviemakers quite like John Lautner. We host our conference cocktail party at the stunningly photogenic Sheats-Goldstein House, which famously featured in The Big Lebowski (other Lautner houses with starring roles include the Schaffer House in A Single Man, the Chemosphere House in Body Double, and the Elrod House in Diamonds are Forever).

Our cocktail party takes place in Club James, the property’s new private nightclub, built by inimitable owner James Goldstein. He bought the residence in 1972 and spent two decades working with Lautner to transform the former Sheats family home into the fabulous bachelor pad it is today. The private club occupies a spectacular new concrete-and-glass structure, with overtones of a Bond villain’s lair, which was designed with former Lautner employee Duncan Nicholson.

We’re thrilled to be among Club James’ earliest visitors, and to have James Goldstein himself joining us there. A separate afternoon visit to the Sheats-Goldstein House, meanwhile, will allow us to enjoy Lautner’s classic in full daylight. The visit plus cocktail party add up a rare opportunity to experience the triangular house, its jaw-dropping views, and the cool Californian lifestyle of its legendary owner in all their glory – more good reasons to register for our conference, if you haven’t already done so. Don’t forget: registration closes February 1st.

Take a look at the building of Club James >
Read more about John Lautner >
Find out more about James Goldstein >

Guest of Honor


January 2016 - Joining us as Guest of Honor is legendary architect, inventor and environmentalist Harry Gesner (1925), who designed the Cahuenga Pass Boat Houses in LA (1959) and some of Malibu’s most awe-inspiring architecture. His distinctive designs include the Cooper Wave House (1957), Raven’s Eye (1993) and, of course, the architect’s own abode, the Sand Castle (1960) found tucked along the Pacific Coast Highway.

If there ever was an architect equivalent to the International Man of Mystery, James Bond, it’s Harry Gesner. In fact, the lauded architect’s life story reads like a script for the dashing, playboy spy: ‘the movie-star- handsome Mr. Gesner surfs and water-skis like a pro; he survived Normandy, though he nearly lost both legs; he audited architecture classes at Yale, turning down a chance to study with Frank Lloyd Wright, who admired his drawings; he tussled with leading men, like Marlon Brando and Errol Flynn, and fell in love with leading ladies, like a young June Lockhart’ and married the famous Broadway star Nan Martin.

Harry’s latest invention, The Autonomous Tent, is an exciting new form of architecture which has been engineered as a permanent structure, yet can be raised in just a few days and ‘leave without a trace’ (www.autonomoustent.com). The first monograph dedicated to Gesner and his thoroughly heterodox 60-year oeuvre, Houses of the Sundown Sea, was published in 2012.

Find out more about Harry Gesner's famous Cahuenga Pass Boathouses
Find out more about The Wave House
Find out more about his own home, the Sandcastle in West Malibu

Decisions, decisions…

December 2015 - Since we began our early bird registration for February’s Iconic Houses Conference, we’ve heard from some of our member houses that you’re having trouble deciding between the two options in the Wednesday program: the house tours or the expert sessions on fundraising and conservation management. If you’re also struggling with this decision, hopefully this post will help you make up your mind!

Please remember that we have organised the house tours so that all those planned for Wednesday (the Gamble House, Hollyhock House, Schindler House and Neutra’s VDL Studio and Residences) can also be done independently before or after the conference, since they are all more or less ‘regular’ house museums (unlike those we visit on Thursday and Friday, which are mostly private houses that you would not otherwise get to see).

If you would like to do some or all of the Wednesday tours by yourself, so as not to miss out on the expert sessions, you can easily rent a car. But do allow plenty of time or consider limiting your choice to two or three houses, since the LA traffic often makes journeys slow. Alternatively, just save these particular houses for another visit – it’s always great to have an excuse to come back to LA!

Iconic Houses founder Natascha Drabbe announces the start of early-bird registration for the next conference in February

November 2015 - With 2016 not so very far away, online registration started 19 November for our fourth Iconic Houses Conference in Los Angeles – and there’s a lot to look forward to. There will be more tours, more speakers, and more fun stuff than ever before, plus we have the perfect location – the Getty Center in LA – and the wonderful support of our hosts the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Foundation, which has also brought us an enthusiastic conference partner in Susan Macdonald. You can ‘meet’ Susan in the Five Questions. We are also fortunate to have teamed up with our local conference organiser, Pasadena Heritage. You can find the full program HERE

You can register HERE.

Location, location, location
The theme for the conference is A California State of Mind: The Modern House Museum in Southern California. Since LA is the spiritual home of the modern house, there will naturally be some extraordinary and inspirational houses to visit (some of them not normally open to the public), both during the optional pre- and post-conference tours and as part of the regular program. The story of the Mid-Century Modern movement will be told in one day with tours of the Gamble, Hollyhock, Schindler and Neutra houses, and there will be opportunities to see landmark homes like the Eames House, the Sheats-Goldstein Residence and several more. We are also thrilled to be holding our closing cocktail party at the legendary Goldstein Residence, designed by John Lautner in 1963, in Club James, the house’s newest addition, with spectacular views of the City of Angels.

Organising the house visits for the 150 conference attendees (plus guides) was a huge challenge. As residential homes, none of the sites is easily accessible for large groups and buses. Luckily, we have had the help of a highly professional tour organiser and we think all the challenges of arranging the visits have been well worth the effort. Of course, the tours are an intrinsic part of the event for us, balancing our mornings of talks and lectures with active afternoons, enjoying and learning from other museum houses. The tours are also an opportunity to meet fellow attendees – although we have plenty of other occasions lined up, from our welcome reception and closing cocktail parties to the long breaks that we factor in so that you too can do some of the talking!

With our speakers, we’ve tried to ensure that all the key stakeholders – curators, owners, architects and residents – are represented for a variety of perspectives and opinions. We have included some highly original viewpoints – keynote speaker architect Toshiko Mori, for example, has had the unique experience of working on three Modernist classics – completing the visitor centre for the Darwin D. Martin House by Frank Lloyd Wright, plus extensions for two homes by Marcel Breuer and Paul Rudolph. How she coped with their greatness is topic of her talk, ‘Frank, Paul, Marcel and Me.’

Another idiosyncratic vision comes from the author of the Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, Franklin D. Vagnone. Taking a critical point of view, he exhorts us to prevent our house museums from dwindling into dull mausoleums and presents ideas on how to make them fresher, more exciting, and more connected with the local community. House curators and directors share their experiences. The East Coast is represented as well as California – we hear about three Cape Cod museum houses that are rented out as holiday homes, an interesting business model. Naturally, we are also responding to Iconic Houses members’ greatest concerns, with two expert sessions devoted to those hot topics, fundraising and conservation plans.

With so much on offer, we expect that our 150 tickets will sell out soon, so to guarantee your place, why not take advantage of our early-bird registration?
On behalf of the conference team, I look forward to seeing you in LA.

Natascha Drabbe
Founder Iconic Houses network