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6th Iconic Houses Conference June 2020

Hans van Heeswijk - on the Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Wessel de Jonge on Dutch Icons at Risk

Melnikov House: Saving an Avant-Garde Icon

Anita Blom on Experimental Housing of the 1970s

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

SPECIAL – Hello Netherlands!

Iconic Reads

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

Our Badge of Honour

SPECIAL – Hello Germany!

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

SPECIAL – Iconic Holidays!

SPECIAL – Iconic Housing

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

House Tours May 2018 

Expert Meetings

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

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

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

Follow us!

Documentary La Ricarda

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

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

At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

8 March 2018

Chandler McCoy on Why Less is More

Los Angeles-based architect and conservationist Chandler McCoy joined the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) in 2015 and heads the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative. He was a moderator at the Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference. The panel discussion can be watched in the (below) link.

Panel discussion
 

How did you get into conservation?
I was an architect for several years after I graduated, but I found that taking care of historic buildings was more rewarding than designing new ones.

In your 25 years of experience, what’s the biggest change you’ve seen?
When I started, the idea that houses from the Modern era should be conserved was not widely accepted; in fact, many people found it ridiculous. Today, it’s much more widely accepted.

What is the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative currently working on?
With the Eames Foundation (which manages the house of Charles and Ray Eames) we are finalizing a Conservation Management Plan. We have started a series of case study books relevant to Modern conservation and are researching concrete repairs. We are also working with a museum designed by Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, India.

What’s the most pressing issue facing Modern house conservation?
The desire to achieve energy conservation and improved thermal comfort frequently endangers modern houses. People make assumptions that modern buildings are energy inefficient and rush to replace original windows, insulate walls, and install complicated systems.

What’s your proudest achievement?
Anytime I can help bring an historic building back to life.

Name an example of good conservation in a modern house.
I really admire the work that Historic New England has done on the Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts. The managers have taken a modest approach to conservation, limiting their work to the minimum that is required.

What’s your top tip for those currently undertaking conservation work?
Start with solid planning based on really knowing the place! Determine what is significant and let that guide your work.

Do you have a favorite Modern house or architect?
I admire the work of Los Angeles architect A. Quincy Jones. His designs for the developer Joseph Eichler are beautiful and economical, as was his work on Crestwood Hills in Los Angeles. He used materials in an inviting way and whenever possible created connections between indoors and outdoors.

What are the biggest obstacles to conservation work?
People often do too much and over-conserve. At the GCI we believe you should do only the minimum amount of conservation work necessary.

What does conservation get wrong - or what has it got wrong in the past?
Sometimes conservation or preservation rules prevent buildings from changing and adapting to new conditions and uses. But in the long run, keeping a building in use (even if it is a different use than its original) is one of the best ways to conserve it.

What’s the best outcome this conference could have?
Imparting new approaches and ideas to the participants to help them be good stewards for the Modern houses they are entrusted with. Conservation requires creativity and determination, and this conference will help support both.

Chandler recommends watching the lecture Design, Transform, Conserve: the Remaking of Sunnylands, as a warm-up for the conference, in which experts discuss the challenges of adapting Sunnylands, the 200-acre estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg designed by A. Quincy Jones in 1964, for reuse.

Jane Szita

Photo: Chandler with the Getty Center (Los Angeles, CA, USA) in the background.

Publication date 8 March 2018