Inside Iconic Houses - Online Tour Program

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Iconic Houses in the Netherlands – Berlage’s Masterpiece

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Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Het Schip

Inside Iconic Houses - Tour of Maison Cazenave

Inside Iconic Houses Tours Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami

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Rietveld’s Experimental Housing in Reeuwijk Saved

Serralves Villa after restoration

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Inside Iconic Houses - Isokon Building

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BCN-BXL Coderch-De Koninck - Beyond Time

New Chairman Architect Nanne de Ru on The Perfect Platform

Health and Home - Interview with Beatriz Colomina

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Our Badge of Honour

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Iconic Houses End Year Message

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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

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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

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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

Toshiko Kinoshita on Japanese Modern Heritage Houses

Architectural historian Toshiko Kinoshita is a director of the Heritage Houses Trust in Tokyo. She also runs the contemporary housing organization Community Housing with her husband Juan Ordonez. Toshiko was a speaker at our Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference in New Canaan 15-18 May 2018. Her lecture can be watched in the (below) link.

Passing Japanese Modern Heritage Houses to the Next Generation

Why did you set up Heritage Houses Trust?
We set it up five years ago, after a four-year effort to preserve the important Sonoda House by Junzo Yoshimura. We succeeded after much awareness-raising in the form of architectural expert talks, piano recitals, and an exhibition about heritage houses – newspaper coverage followed, and a fan of the architect got in touch with us. He later bought the house, and safeguarded its future. This success led us to set up the Heritage Houses Trust.

What problems do Modern houses like this one face in Japan?
There is almost no legal framework protecting them. It’s easy and financially rewarding to demolish old buildings and redevelop the site. People don’t generally buy old houses and renovate them, and there’s no market for significant Modern homes. Death duties are high and often this means heirs cannot keep their houses, but have to sell them to pay tax. Currently, the only solution we can find is to get the house a new owner, as there’s no legal process to force preservation unless it is designated as important cultural property.

Where does your interest in endangered houses come from?
I grew up in a beautiful traditional Japanese house in Kobe – my grandfather had bought it in order to prevent it from being demolished. That early experience helped to lead me to the realization that, in losing its heritage buildings, Japan is in danger of losing its aesthetic tradition. Later, when studying in Britain, I saw that it doesn’t have to be this way. I saw how people really appreciate and value historic buildings there, and how difficult it is to demolish them.

In the Community Housing portfolio, the iconic Maekawa House is one of your rentals.
Yes, the architect Kunio Maekawa’s own house was in danger of demolition. The family sold it to a developer, most probably because they couldn’t afford to pay the death duties. To save it, we bought it and now rent it out.

Which Modern houses have particularly inspired you?
A particular favorite of mine is Louis Kahn’s Fisher House. I could not imagine how beautiful it could be from the drawings. The scale, the choice of materials, the design of the windows, the detailing, everything is so masterly. I was very impressed just experiencing the space.

What most needs to change in Japan to preserve Modern houses?
We need a legal framework. Public awareness of the importance of heritage would also help. We also need a market that appreciates the value of buying such houses to live in. In the future, I see great potential for such a market to grow in Japan.

Toshiko recommends watching an Introduction to the Heritage Houses Trust in Japan as a warm up for the conference.

Jane Szita

Photo: Toshiko with the Kunio Maekawa House (Tokyo, Japan) in the background.

Publication date 15 February 2018