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At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

18 February 2016

Iconic Houses: The Story So Far

In November 2012, we launched the Iconic Houses Network in order to connect the people who own or run a modern house museum or an architect’s house from the 20th century (which is open to the public). The idea was to share knowledge and support, and exchange stories and ideas.

Today, our website lists 150 20th century houses, including some of the world’s most famous examples, designed by almost 100 important architects, and located in 30 different countries. About one-fifth of our houses are still homes: Privately owned and lived in, while also admitting visitors.

In only three and a half years, we have built a solid reputation as a unique platform for professional debate concerning the conservation, policy and management of modern house museums. Through this discussion, our members are empowered to undertake new initiatives to develop the potential of their house museums, from marketing to programming events to collaborations with other houses.

A major aim of Iconic Houses is to study the most important houses of the 20th century and to raise awareness of their significance and their need for protection. As examples of experimental modern living, such houses are part of our collective heritage and the foundation of our lifestyle aspirations today. Iconic Houses therefore aims to become an important competence center for the study of the history of 20th century residential architecture, and a resource for anyone who wants to do research on this topic.

Later this year, we will be conducting our first ever in-depth membership survey, so that we can better document the development of our sector. Anecdotal evidence suggests it is expanding - so much so, in fact, that we are adding a new category to our network: Artists’ homes and studios. These attract the same kind of visitor as the architects’ houses, and face similar issues. In conducting our survey, we will meet with our members and listen to their experiences, in order to develop tools to facilitate better internal communication within our network, and so better leverage our collective skills and knowledge.

Our biennial conference is an important part of our work, both in getting our message across, stimulating discussion and in connecting our members with each other. In 2018, the conference returns to Europe, and in 2020, to the East Coast of the USA. We hope to see you there as well. Meanwhile, we wish you an enjoyable, educational and inspiring experience at our LA conference.

www.iconichouses.org

Publication date 18 February 2016