An Elementalist and Mediterranean Architecture

MORE MIES - Two Weeks of Nothing But Architecture

Through a Bauhaus Lens: Edith Tudor-Hart and Isokon

Modernism Week Lecture: 10 Years of Iconic Houses

Aluminaire House Grand Opening

Exhibition Icons of the Czech Avant-Garde

City Icons: Amsterdam - Register Now!

Icon for Sale - Loos Villa: Haus Horner

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

SPECIAL – Iconic Housing

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

Winy Wants a World Wonder

Welcome Atelier Volten!

Public Screenings and Private Streaming of Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Sleep in a Modernist Gem – Huis Billiet in Bruges

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - 100 Years Van Zessen House

Exclusive Tour and Film Screening Package

The Last House Designed by Adolf Loos Will Be Built in Prague

Icons of the Czech Avantgarde

Icon for Sale - Casa Legorreta

Rietveld Day: 200 Enthusiasts Explored 3 Utrecht Icons

Hurray! 10 Years Iconic Houses

7th International Iconic Houses Conference A Huge Success

Meet Conference Co-Chair Iveta Černá

Meet Conference Co-Chair Maria Szadkowska

Eighteen Iconic Houses Under One Roof

17 June - 'Pioneers-film' Screening Amersfoort

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Eesteren House Museum

Welcome Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Zentrum in Vienna!

Welcome Vila Volman! Jewel of Czech Functionalism

Movie Night: Adolf Loos- Revolutionary Among Architects

'Inside Iconic Houses' Case Study House #26 Webcast in Webshop

Inside Iconic Houses at Taut’s Home in Berlin

Rediscovering Forgotten Loos Interiors in Pilsen

'Inside Iconic Houses' - Online Tour Program

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - The Diagoon House

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Rietveld Schröder House

Rietveld Houses Owners Association

Corberó Space: New Life for Hidden Jewel

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Pierre Cuypers' House and Workshops

Reeuwijk Celebrates Completion of Restoration Rietveld Homes!

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Doesburg Rinsema House

Welcome Rietveld's Van Daalen House!

Architect Harry Gessner Passed Away at 97

Watch Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Now On Demand

Icon Saved: Dorchester Drive House

Welcome Umbrella House!

Iconic Houses in the Netherlands – Berlage’s Masterpiece

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Het Schip

Inside Iconic Houses - Tour of Maison Cazenave

Inside Iconic Houses Tours Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami

Casa Masó Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Inside Iconic Houses tours Roland Reisley's Usonian Frank Lloyd Wright House

Rietveld’s Experimental Housing in Reeuwijk Saved

Serralves Villa after restoration

Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione

Test Labs for New Ideas - Interview with Natascha Drabbe

Inside Iconic Houses - Isokon Building

Inside Iconic Houses - 16 December: Sunnylands with Janice Lyle

BCN-BXL Coderch-De Koninck - Beyond Time

New Chairman Architect Nanne de Ru on The Perfect Platform

Health and Home - Interview with Beatriz Colomina

A Life Less Ordinary – Interview with Valentijn Carbo

Invisible Women - Interview with Alice T. Friedman

Winy Maas on the Green Dip

Anita Blom on Experimental Housing of the 1970s

Women’s Worlds - Interview with Natalie Dubois

The Culture of Living - Interview with Robert von der Nahmer

Hetty Berens: A Fresh Take on Modernism

Niek Smit on Supporting Modern Heritage

Alice Roegholt on Amsterdam’s Working-Class Palaces

July is Iconic Houses Month

Hans van Heeswijk on The Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Wessel de Jonge on Dutch Icons at Risk

Save Maison Zilveli - Sign the Petition!

How a Building Tells a Story - Recorded Event

Toolkit for Owners of a Modern House

13 Aalto Sites Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage

Villa Beer At Risk - Sign the Petition!

Business Cards of Stone, Timber and Concrete in the Brussels Region 1830-1970

Exhibiting & Visiting Modernist Monuments

Fostering Well-Researched Responsible Design


Enjoy a virtual visit to the California House and a Q&A with architect Peter Gluck

Exhibition 'Modernism and Refuge'

A Hidden Gem of Postmodernism

New Centre for Historic Houses of India

An Online Chronicle of the Douglas House

Villa Henny, geometric style icon in The Netherlands

A Mendini temple in Amsterdam

IH-lectures USA & Canada Feb 2020 on Melnikov House

Sponsors and Friends

An Afternoon with the Glucks

Chandler McCoy on Making Modern Houses Sustainable

Catherine Croft: Getting Away from the Demolition Mentality in the UK

Patrick Weber on Discovering an Unknown Icon

Fiona Fisher on Iconic Interiors

Jocelyn Bouraly on Villa Cavrois

Mireia Massagué on finding success through a new kind of partnership

Danish Moderns – Looking Back at Our Mini-Seminar

Venturo house complements Exhibition Centre WeeGee’s offering

Lecture report: Remembering Richard Neutra

Hôtel Mezzara and the Guimard Museum project

We welcome 13 new members!

BREAKING NEWS: 8 Wright Sites Inscribed on Unesco World Heritage List!

LECTURE 29 August - Raymond Neutra: My Father and Frank Lloyd Wright

Iconic Reads

Our Badge of Honour

Iconic Houses End Year Message

City-ordered rebuild of landmark house stirs debate: Appropriate or overreach?

Kohlberg House Restoration in Progress

Planned Demolition of Rietveld Homes in Reeuwijk

Renovation Gili House in Crisis

An Iconic Saga

Restoring Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027 and Clarifying the Controversies

Modernism on the East Coast

Iconic Houses in Latin America

Conference testimonials

House Tours May 2018 

Expert Meetings

Natascha Drabbe - Iconic Houses: The Next Chapter

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Hilary Lewis on Philip Johnson and his Glass House

John Arbuckle on Great House Tours

William D. Earls on the Harvard Five in New Canaan

Stover Jenkins on Working for Philip Johnson

Frederick Noyes on his Father’s House

Scott Fellows and Craig Bassam on their Passion for Preservation

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

Fabio Grementieri on Modernism in Argentina

Catalina Corcuera Cabezut on Casa Luis Barragán

Renato Anelli on Lina Bo Bardi’s Casa de Vidro

Tim McClimon on Corporate Preservation

Amanda Nelson on Building Donor Relationships

John Bacon on Planned Giving

Jean-Paul Warmoes on the Art of Fundraising in America

Chandler McCoy on Why Less is More

Katherine Malone-France on Moving with the Times

Anne Mette Rahbæk on Philanthropic Investments and Preservation

Peter McMahon on Saving Modern Houses on Cape Cod

Toshiko Kinoshita on Japanese Modern Heritage Houses

Roland Reisley on Life in a Frank Lloyd Wright House

5th Iconic Houses Conference May 2018

Kristin Stone, Pasadena Tour Company

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

Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association

Crosby Doe, Architecture for Sale

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

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

Maintaining Aalto's Studio – Linoleum Conservation

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

Plečnik House in Ljubljana

Iconic Dacha

Iconic Houses: A Bohemian Road Trip

Work in Progress: Capricho de Gaudí

11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List

At home with Le Corbusier

Henry van de Velde’s Study in Haus Hohe Pappeln Restored

Lynda Waggoner reports

A Conference to Remember

4th International Iconic Houses Conference

Guest of Honor - Harry Gesner

Fallingwater: European Lecture Tour

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Susan Macdonald, Getty Conservation Institute

John Mcllwee, Garcia House

Meet the Friends – Elisabeth Tostrup

Iconic Houses: The Story So Far

Willie van Burgsteden, designer Iconic Houses

Buff Kavelman, Philanthropic Advisor

Meet the Friends - Frederick Noyes

Sheridan Burke, GML Heritage

Meet the Friends - Raymond Neutra

Sidney Williams, Frey House

Franklin Vagnone and Deborah Ryan, Museum Anarchists

Meet the Friends - James Haefner

Toshiko Mori, architect

Malachi Connolly, Cape Cod Modern House Trust

Meet the Friends - Penny Sparke

Lucia Dewey Atwood, Eames House

Cory Buckner, Mutual Housing Site Office

Jeffrey Herr, Hollyhock House

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

Sarah Lorenzen, Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Ted Bosley, Gamble House

Keeping It Modern - Getty Conservation Grants

Meet the Friends - Thomas Schönauer

Wim de Wit, Stanford University

Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy

Jesse Lattig, Pasadena Heritage

Join us in Los Angeles! Update

Work in Progress: Casa Vicens

Work in Progress: Van Wassenhove House

Work in Progress: Villa Cavrois

Work in Progress: The Pearlroth House

Conference calls!

Follow us!

Third Iconic Houses Conference a huge success

Conference House Tours Barcelona

Marta Lacambra, Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Natascha Drabbe, Iconic Houses Foundation

Special speaker Oscar Tusquets

Jordi Tresserras, UNESCO Network ‘Culture, tourism and development’

Christen Obel, Utzon Foundation

Elena Ruiz Sastre, Casa Broner

Fernando Alvarez Prozorovich, La Ricarda

Tim Benton, Professor of Art History (Emeritus)

Susana Landrove, Docomomo Spain

Rossend Casanova, Casa Bloc

Conference Program 25 November 2014

Jordi Falgàs, Casa Rafael Masó

Documentary La Ricarda

Marga Viza, Casa Míla/La Pedrera

Celeste Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Conference 25 November 2014 at La Pedrera

Henry Urbach, The Glass House

Victoria & Albert Museum London November 12

Tommi Lindh, new director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and Museum

Iveta Černá, Villa Tugendhat

Lynda Waggoner, Fallingwater

Kimberli Meyer, MAK Center

Rent a house designed by Gerrit Rietveld

Barragán House on Screen

Gesamtkunstwerk – An Icon on the Move

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

Taut's Home wins Europa Nostra Award

Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen

Message from the Editor

Neutra’s House on Screen

Michel Richard, Fondation Le Corbusier

Symposium The Public and the Modern House

Melnikov House on Screen

Iconic Houses in the media

Message from the Editor

Round Table Review

Eileen Gray House on Screen

Copy Culture

At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

Philippe Bélaval, Centre des monuments nationaux

25 August 2016

Iconic Houses: A Bohemian Road Trip

By Natascha Drabbe, Iconic Houses Network / Van Schijndel House Utrecht

  • Villa Tugendhat. Front façade. Photo: David Zilicky.
  • Villa Müller. Exterior view. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Villa Müller. Terrace. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Villa Müller. Entrance corridor with large, green tinted opaque glass tiles. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Villa Müller. Children’s playroom. Photo: Martin Polák © Muzeum hlavního města Prahy.
  • Villa Müller. Dining room. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Haus Schminke. Exterior view to the North-East. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. Back façade. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. Central hall with staircase leading to first floor. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. First floor leading to the bedrooms. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. The Frankfurt kitchen. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Villa Tugendhat. Front façade. Photo: David Zilicky.
  • Villa Müller. Exterior view. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Villa Müller. Terrace. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Villa Müller. Entrance corridor with large, green tinted opaque glass tiles. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Villa Müller. Children’s playroom. Photo: Martin Polák © Muzeum hlavního města Prahy.
  • Villa Müller. Dining room. ©Muzeum hlavního města Prahy. Photo Martin Polák.
  • Haus Schminke. Exterior view to the North-East. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. Back façade. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. Central hall with staircase leading to first floor. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. First floor leading to the bedrooms. Photo Ralph Ganther.
  • Haus Schminke. The Frankfurt kitchen. Photo Ralph Ganther.

If you want to visit some of the highlights of 20th-century residential architecture, you’ll have to make some effort. But the experience will leave an indelible memory.

Start by flying to Vienna, renting a car and driving to the Unesco-listed Villa Tugendhat (1930) by Mies van der Rohe. Then continue your road trip to Villa Müller (1930) in Prague, famous for its Raumplan by Adolf Loos. Now for the icing on the cake: drive to Löbau and spend a night or two at Haus Schminke (1933), designed by Hans Scharoun, which is available for overnight stays and longer breaks. Make sure you arrive in time to pick up some provisions in the village so you can cook your own dinner in the original Frankfurther Küche - your experience of the house will be more authentic than if you’d ordered a pizza. Next day, you can drive from Löbau to Dresden in just over an hour, drop off the hire car and fly back home. The whole road trip from Vienna to Dresden, taking in all the other destinations, is just 600 km and takes 6 hours and 42 minutes of driving time. Not bad at all for such an enjoyable and unforgettable trip.

Villa Tugendhat (1930) – Brno, Czech Republic
The house was built for Greta Löw-Beer (1903–1970) and her husband Fritz Tugendhat (1895–1958), both of whom came from German-Jewish industrialist stock. Both families owned a number of textile factories and were instrumental in the industrialization of Czechoslovakia between the wars.
Greta’s father, Alfred Löw-Beer, gave the building plot to his daughter in March 1929. It was part of a lot behind the Löw-Beer villa and featured beautiful views of the historic skyline of Brno. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) was called in to design the Tugendhats’ villa, and the result is a unique work of art in terms of construction, spatial arrangement, interior furnishings, technical equipment and placement in the natural setting. For the first time in the history of architecture, a steel support structure is used in the form of columns on a cross-shaped floor plan. The interior contains rare materials: Italian travertine, onyx from Morocco, woods from Southeast Asia. The technical aspects are also remarkable: warm-air heating and cooling, electric windows and an electric eye at the entrance.
The most prominent feature of the 'flowing' living area is the grand seating arrangement in front of the onyx wall and the dining room demarcated by a half-cylinder in Makassar ebony. The interior can be opened to the garden by raising two large windows. Behind the onyx wall are an office with a library and an adjoining winter garden, while behind the curved ebony wall is a seating area next to a wall of milk glass which can be illuminated.

Electric Windows
The windows in front of the onyx wall can retract down to the floor (they measure 5 x 3m). The heating system along the glazed wall prevents the glass from misting up. 
In the retractable windows, the original load-supporting guiding systems have been preserved. During the restoration of the house, the actuators were reinstalled and the mechanism was made operable, including the preserved retraction system with chains. This is a unique system enabling the windows to retract down to the floor level in the main living room, thus achieving an impressive blending of the interior and exterior.
In 1924, when he was fully employed on Villa Brno, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe stated: “The purpose of the structure provides it with its actual sense… A dwelling should only serve for housing. The location of the structure, its location in relation to the sun, the layout of the spaces and the construction materials are the essential factors for creating a dwelling house. A building organism must be created out of these conditions.”
Mies’ famous statement ‘less is more’ is embodied by his pure forms and work with materials. Glass, steel and concrete are the attributes of his distinct International Style, which has influenced architecture up to the present day.

Villa Müller (1928-1930) – Prague, Czech Republic
The villa for Milada and František Müller in Prague (1928-1930) is the chef-d'oeuvre of the international architectural avant-garde, an example of a rare concord between an enlightened client and a brilliant architect. František Müller, co-owner of the Kapsa-Müller construction company, was one of the leading lights of Czech society of his day. He had no hesitation in commissioning one of the greatest architects of the time to design his home: Adolf Loos (1870-1933), who had already been active in Bohemia. This commission allowed Loos to bring his original spatial conception, known as Raumplan, to a rapid culmination. The outfitting of the villa interiors – selected and in many cases designed by the architect himself – was the embodiment of a surprisingly harmonious meeting of modern functionalism with the classic English style. After an eventful post-war history, the villa was restored between 1997 and 2000, and opened to the public as a National Cultural Monument.

Raumplan Revisited
In 1930, Loos explained Raumplan to Karel Lhota, with whom he collaborated on Villa Müller: “My architecture is not conceived in plans, but in spaces (cubes). I do not design floor plans, façades, sections... I design spaces. For me, there is no ground floor, first floor etc... For me, there are only contiguous, continual spaces, rooms, anterooms, terraces etc. Stories merge and spaces relate to each other. Every space requires a different height: the dining room is surely higher than the pantry – thus the ceilings are set at different levels. To join these spaces in such a way that the rise and fall are not only unobservable but also practical, in this I see what is for others the great secret, although it is for me a great matter of course... 
It is just this spatial interaction and spatial austerity that thus far I have best been able to realize in Dr Müller’s house.”

Haus Schminke (1930-1933) – Löbau, Germany
Architect Hans Scharoun (1893-1972) designed this house in 1930 for the Löbau pasta manufacturer Fritz Schminke and his wife Charlotte. It was intended as a modern house for two parents, four children, and one or two occasional guests. The implementation is extravagant and functional at the same time. The curved body with terraces, outdoor stairs and numerous round porthole windows evoke a ship. The domestic spaces flow smoothly into each other. Large glass surfaces reflect the garden as an extended living room. In addition to width and transparency, a variety of design elements define the spatial experience. These accents of colour and shape were developed specifically for the house. Hans Scharoun is one of the most important exponents of organic architecture, which is a branch of classical modernism. He always strove for a harmonious, vibrant and functional interaction between building and landscape.
The family moved in In May 1933. However, they were to live in the house for only 12 years. In 1945 the house was seized by the Red Army, and temporarily occupied by the military command. When Fritz returned from wartime captivity in Russia in 1948, it was only to find that both house and factory were confiscated, and the family declared war criminals for supplying pasta to the German army. The Schminkes left Löbau for Lower Saxony.
After it had been used as a youth club for many years, in 1994 the Wüstenrot Foundation succeeded in focussing attention on Haus Schminke. Between 1999 and 2000, the house was extensively restored under the technical leadership of the Pitz & Hoh workshop for architecture and historic preservation in Berlin. Thanks to the Schminkes’ daughters Helga and Erika, original objects could be returned to the site, including furniture and images documenting its history.

Publication date 25 August 2016