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
Our Badge of Honour
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
11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List
At home with Le Corbusier
Wright Plus 2016 Walk
Casa Batlló's innovative Video Guide
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
Fabio Grementieri on Modernism in Argentina
An architect and preservationist based in Buenos Aires, Fabio Grementieri is a member of the National Commission of Monuments of Argentina and Head of the Preservation Program at Torcuato Di Tella University. He has worked on various restoration projects and has written several books on the heritage of Argentina. He was a speaker at the Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference in New Canaan. His lecture can be watched in the (below) link.
|Preserving the Gems: Four Houses of Eclectic Argentine Modernity|
At the conference, you present four case studies. What do they tell us about Modernism in Argentina?
Mainly that the heritage is so rich and varied - they are enormously different in terms of style, being inspired by different schools. There’s very little indigenous influence. Argentinian Modernism is a melting pot of influences from Europe.
How would you describe the conservation background in your country?
Neglectful - there was little concern about preserving modern heritage up until the 1990s, when the advent of Docomomo started to change things. As in most countries in Latin America, the general public has not tended to regard Modern architecture, especially Brutalism, as heritage. Luckily, that is now shifting.
What is causing the change?
Over the past few years, the Professional Council of Architects in Buenos Aires has launched a campaign to increase awareness of Modernism in the city, through lectures, films, documentaries, and so on. It all helps people to see that Modern architecture is also a part of heritage. As that awareness increases, it gets easier to protect buildings. For example, the renovation of Victoria Ocampo’s house, the first Modern building in Buenos Aires, has almost been completed. It’s an important moment.
What’s your favorite Modern house in Argentina?
The Casa in La Falda by Wladimiro Acosta, a Russian Bauhaus architect who came to Argentina in the late 1920s. He built only four houses, using a system he called Helios, a reference to the sun. Sure enough the design uses the sun to generate heat or to avoid overheating, as appropriate. The house is therefore very sustainable and ahead of its time. It’s one of the houses I will discuss at the conference.
Why is it so important to preserve Modern houses?
Because they were the first architectural experiments in Modernism. They were built by architects who had found patrons who finally allowed them to materialize their revolutionary ideas.
How can Iconic Houses help in Latin America?
By bringing together a network of important Modern houses.
Are you optimistic about the future?
I’m a member of the National Commission for Monuments. For the last two years, we have been designating Modern buildings from up to the 1960s as part of our national heritage. Such listings began in the 1990s, but we have been able to greatly accelerate them. So yes, this is a good time - although it’s difficult to raise money for projects, attitudes are changing. I’m hopeful that Modernism will finally be seen as an important chapter of architectural history in Argentina.
Fabio recommends watching this trailer of the documentary Victoria Ocampo’s House as a warm up for the conference.
Photo: Fabio with Casa en La Falda by Wladimiro Acosta (Cordoba, Argentina) in the background.
Publication date 13 March 2018