Film Screenings: Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Inside Iconic Houses - Online Tour Program

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Doesburg Rinsema House

Welcome Rietveld's Van Daalen House!

Corberó Space: New Life for Hidden Jewel

Architect Harry Gessner Dead at 97

Icon Saved: Dorchester Drive House

Welcome Umbrella House!

Iconic Houses in the Netherlands – Berlage’s Masterpiece

Welcome Atelier Volten!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

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

Watch Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Now On Demand

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

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

An Afternoon with the Glucks

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

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

Our Badge of Honour

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

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

15 February 2018

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

Terence Riley and Philip Johnson in 1992, unidentified photographer

Terence Riley and Philip Johnson in 1992, unidentified photographer

As an architect and curator, Miami-based Terence Riley played a pivotal role in the renovation and expansion of MoMA (New York), the Miami Art Museum, and the Museum of Art, Design and the Environment (Murcia, Spain), as well as playing a key role in reinvigorating the Modern movement during his time at MoMA. He is a founding partner of (K/R (Keenen/Riley)|http:krnyc.com], an architectural studio known for its work for art museums, galleries, artists, and collectors. Terence was a keynote speaker at our Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference in New Canaan 15-18 May 2018. His lecture can be watched in the (below) link.

Keynote Address Philip Johnson: Portrait of the Curator as a Young Man

You once said that when you left college in the 1980s, to say that you were interested in the Modern movement was almost like admitting to being a sex offender. You then went on to play a prominent role in its critical re-evaluation at MoMA.
I did my bit, but by the time I got to MoMA, around 1989, there had already been an interesting series of developments. Architects like Rem Koolhaas, Bernard Tschumi, and Jean Nouvel were producing works that featured an intense reconsideration of Modern architecture. It was an exciting time. The Light Construction show was my manifesto. There was a definite feeling that Postmodernism was over and I was trying to memorialize that. Kazuyo Sejima, Herzog & Meuron and Ben van Berkel all got an early museum mention. It was prescient moment. I still see the book Light Construction on students’ desks.

How did the Modern movement begin for you personally?
It all started with my great uncle who was Paul Nelson, a WWI pilot who was at Princeton with Scott Fitzgerald – they both left to go and fight in France. Nelson later studied at the École des Beaux Arts and worked as a Modern architect in France – I visited him in his later years. After I’d completed my master’s degree at Columbia, Bob Stern suggested I do an exhibition on him. That was my first taste of curatorship.

And it was how you came to meet Philip Johnson.
Yes – he came to see the Paul Nelson show and I gave him a tour, after which he told me that he didn’t like Nelson much. Then he said, “So, you want to be a curator?” I replied that I didn’t really. At the time he was interviewing for the MoMA curatorship, and my reply made him decide that I should do it.

What did you learn from him?
I learned how a curator can use an institution like MoMA as a vehicle or agent to spread a message. He would always ask, “What’s the message?” Achieving clarity is the science – or art – of curatorship.

Any other principles of curation you can share?
A publisher once told me, that people don’t buy books with the word ‘architecture’ in the title as it’s seen as too specialist. So I never used the word in the title of any show I did. Instead I’d use words that everyone can relate to.

As a practicing architect, you’ve had an office with J Keenen since 1984. What’s the secret behind your long partnership?
In the beginning, we both pathologically insisted on working equally on all projects – then we got over that. Now one of us drives the project, while the other is a critic; we take it in turns. A lot has to do with geography. He’s in New York, I’m in Miami.

How did you find combining the roles of curator and architect?
It wasn’t that unusual at MoMA. In the early years, lots of curators were architects or trained as architects, including Philip Johnson, Eliot Noyes, and Edgar Kaufmann. I find it unfortunate that that doesn’t happen anymore and we now have only professional curators who approach architecture through architectural history. I always tried to move away from the museum as exclusively a place of paper architecture.

Can you tell us something about the Marcel Breuer house in Pocantico that we’re going to visit?
I’m so glad we’re going there. It was a show house in the MoMA garden in the early 1950s, along with two others. The irony is that for many years people didn’t realize it had been taken apart and reconstructed. So it was important in creating an audience for the Modern residence. It played a pivotal role. It featured modest and open spaces for living without servants, as well as plywood and other new materials.

Do you have a favorite house?
I love the Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe. Also the Glass House by Philip Johnson, which was very inspired by it – he had curated an exhibit on Mies and was borrowing from the master. It was a startling concept and it’s a favorite turning point of mine. Before the gate was put up, a neighbor pulled up next to the house and said to Philip, “I could never live here.” He replied, “You will never have to.”

You live in a house you built yourself. Can you tell us about it?
In 2001, Barry Bergdoll and I curated the exhibition Mies in Berlin at MoMA. I researched the courthouses (a word invented by Johnson) and wrote an essay on them. John Bennett and Gustavo Bonevardi created 3D models and videos of them. Through my research I discovered that Mies had intended the courthouses to be small, economical alternatives to the free-standing single-family house. To save cost and land, they were meant to be constructed like row houses. Philip Johnson more or less turned that courthouse concept into a one-off luxury residence. So, Bennett and I decided to put Mies’ proposal to the test and build at least two of them. Craig Robins was our third partner. I live in one of them full-time.

How has Modernism informed your own work?
I understand the modern movement in a broad sense, from the Industrial Revolution to the digital era, so it’s the primary source for how I think about architecture.

What role do you think the Modern house plays in our own time?
I think it plays the same role as it did 100 years ago. The Modern house makes people’s lives better. I truly believe that.

What contemporary house will be an icon in the future, if you have anything to do with it?
The one K/R is building in the Little River part of Miami – a hybrid of the art gallery and the loft residence.

“The Modern house makes people’s lives better. I truly believe that..”

Jane Szita

Photo: Terry with his own house (Miami, FL, USA) in the background.

Publication date 15 February 2018