Mackintosh’s Hill House Becomes an International Iconic House!

Historical Exhibition, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Painter, Conversation

Our Badge of Honour

Istanbul’s Modernist Ataköy Housing Estate is At Risk

Early Furniture Designs by Le Corbusier on Permanent Display in Maison Blanche

Photo Report City Icons Amsterdam

Healing Through Architecture

Reopening An Iconic Modernist Landmark

City Icons Kick Off with Talk by Linda Vlassenrood

MORE MIES - Pure Architecture in Haus Lange Haus Esters

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

An Elementalist and Mediterranean Architecture

Icon for Sale - Loos Villa: Haus Horner

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams Europe - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams North America - 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 Collective Housing

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

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

Winy Wants a World Wonder

Welcome Atelier Volten!

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

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

Posted September 4, 2023

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - 100 Years Van Zessen House

The Unique Collaboration Between Cornelis van Eesteren and Theo van Doesburg

Text: Jorn Konijn | Photos: Piet Gispen

Kinderdijk is internationally best known for its windmills, but a very special building was realized on West Kinderdijk 100 years ago: Van Zessen House. The house was designed by the well-known urban planner Cornelis van Eesteren in collaboration with the artist Theo van Doesburg and it is the only house designed by Van Eesteren that was built and still exists today. Since the foundation of Iconic Houses ten years ago, Van Zessen House has been a member of the international network of nearly two hundred modern museum homes. The house can be visited by appointment.

Cornelis van Eesteren (1897 –1988) was the eldest son of Balten van Eesteren, founder and director of the Boele & van Eesteren contracting firm. As the eldest son, Cornelis was destined to become a contractor as well, but soon became interested in architecture and the visual arts. After his studies at the Academy of Visual Arts and Technical Sciences in Rotterdam, he designed a dyke house for the widow Burgerina van Zessen-Stout. It was Van Eesteren's ambition to design a new type of dike house with this house: no decorative superfluous, no romanticism, but a basic house with a functional floor plan. The design was also dictated by the limited budget and the limited implementation options of his father's company that built the dike house.

In March 1923, Van Eesteren had completed his design, but he was not present during construction, because in May he left for Paris, together with the painter Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931), to prepare the De Stijl exhibition, which would later become famous. Van Eesteren had taken the drawing of the Van Zessen House with him, and Van Doesburg used the drawing to design the colour scheme for window frames, windows, doors, stairs, and shutters. Van Eesteren sent the coloured drawing, with instructions for the painter, from Paris to Alblasserdam. The house was completed by the end of November 1923. Only around the turn of the year 1923-24, when Van Eesteren was back home, did he see the house with its colours for the first time. He loved the beautiful colour. “I see it every day and I always enjoy it again and again.”

“I see it every day and I always enjoy it again and again.”  

The influential avant-garde French architecture magazine L'Architecture Vivante published the house in the spring of 1924. When Van Doesburg saw the colour reproductions, he was overjoyed: he thought the house would become 'world famous'. This was a mistake. The house is rarely mentioned in books about modern Dutch architecture.
Nevertheless, the house has become one of the earliest examples of modern functionalist architecture: sleek volumes, covered by a flat roof and enlivened by functional elements. The use of materials is traditional, but the form, on the other hand, is radically new. The view from the water in particular shows what Van Eesteren intended: a simple, clearly expressive form and, above all, no romantic clutter.

Strikingly modern, but also useful when it rains, is the awning. Painted black, it seems to float despite its heaviness due to the lack of visible support. On the first floor, the traditional inviolability of the corner of the building is rationally broken. The window has its function, because it is very pleasant to see what is happening further down the dike. Like the awning, the upper layers of masonry seem to float because the blue window frame in the corner cannot provide any optical support. Van Eesteren has fitted the house with a flat roof. He did not want an overhang and certainly not a sloping roof, as these would disturb the sleek silhouette effect.

Theo van Doesburg gave a complicated explanation about the colours, which means that the colours maintain diagonal relations with each other. This is at odds with the support and load principle of architecture. The so-called 'colour construction' is at odds with the architectural construction, making the building appear less heavy and aesthetically liberated. That is why Van Doesburg also uses the expression 'colour solution'.

Today, Van Zessen House is owned by the Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Foundation, which manages the estate of Van Eesteren and his business partner Theo van Lohuizen. It was restored in 1990 by architect Bertus Mulder, bringing back the original colours. It is a national monument where the rarity value mainly consists of the materialization of the unique collaboration between Van Eesteren and Van Doesburg.

In the same year, this collaboration between Van Eesteren and Doesburg led to another design that has since become world famous: the Maison d'Artiste. This design for an artist's home was presented during the same famous De Stijl exhibition in Paris. With their design for Maison d'Artiste, Van Eesteren and Van Doesburg pursued a radical reform in art and architecture, as a reflection on social, scientific, and technological changes that were taking place at the time. The design of the Maison d'Artiste was not only a spatial sculpture, but also a manifesto for new architecture. It is even questionable whether the designers intended it to be built at all.

The Maison d'Artiste is designed as if it were detached from the ground as if gravity did not exist. The designers were criticized in the press for not taking practical implementation into account in their floating architecture and for leaving this unsolvable problem to the engineers. However, its ground-breaking design, which anticipated advancements in technology, would have a major impact on modern architecture.

In 2023, both Van Zessen House and Maison d'Artiste are celebrating their 100th anniversary, which will be celebrated in various places throughout the Netherlands. The large-scale model of Maison d'Artiste travels through the Netherlands and exhibitions can be visited in various museums. The permanent exhibition about the young Van Eesteren and De Stijl has been opened to the public in the Van Zessen House. The exhibition focuses on the short, but very fruitful collaboration between Cornelis van Eesteren and Theo van Doesburg in the period 1922-1923, and his further development and designs in the interwar period.

About the author
Jorn Konijn has been director of the Van Eesteren Museum in Amsterdam-West since June 2022. Konijn worked as head programmer at Dutch Design Week, as curator at EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. This year, the Van Eesteren Museum is also devoting a great deal of attention to the two iconic designs with lectures and a debate.

Maison d'Artiste Large-Scale Model in Rotterdam
November 24, 2023 - February 4, 2024
With the current high-tech resources, the Maison d'Artiste has now become buildable. The large, coloured scale model will be displayed as an eye-catcher at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam this winter. The archive of multidisciplinary artist Theo van Doesburg is one of Het Nieuwe Institutes top collections. The simultaneous exhibition at Het Nieuwe Instituut examines the initiative to carry out the design and models show the required high-tech materials that are necessary for a possible realization. The book '100 Years of Mythe Maison d'Artiste' is then for sale in two languages in the bookshop.

Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House
Film screenings 10 September 10 and 22 October 2023
Based on twenty Dutch modern house museums, the film Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House (60 minutes) provides insight into Dutch residential architecture in the 20th century in five themes: Hygiene and health in the modern home; Palaces for the people; The roles of women: clients and architects; Experiments with space; The house as a self-portrait: architect houses.
Sunday September 10, Heritage Day, in Wall House #2 in Groningen.
Sunday 22 October in Museum Dra8888 in combination with a visit to the Van Doesburg Rinsemahuis and the National Agricultural Winter School, both with a colour design by Theo van Doesburg.
More information can be found at

The 1 hour video can also be streamed via the webshop.

This article previously appeared in Dutch Magazine Herenhuis #97, September/October 2023.
Photos: Piet Gispen, courtesy Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Foundation.

Posted September 4, 2023