Mackintosh’s Hill House Becomes an International Iconic House!

Istanbul’s Modernist Ataköy Housing Estate is At Risk

Early Furniture Designs by Le Corbusier on Permanent Display in Maison Blanche

Photo Report City Icons Amsterdam

Healing Through Architecture

Reopening An Iconic Modernist Landmark

Festive City Icons Kick Off with Talk by Linda Vlassenrood

MORE MIES - Pure Architecture in Haus Lange Haus Esters

Through a Bauhaus Lens: Edith Tudor-Hart and Isokon

Modernism Week Lecture: 10 Years of Iconic Houses

Aluminaire House Grand Opening

Exhibition Icons of the Czech Avant-Garde

An Elementalist and Mediterranean Architecture

Icon for Sale - Loos Villa: Haus Horner

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams Europe - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams North America - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

SPECIAL – Iconic Housing

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

Public Screenings and Private Streaming of Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Winy Wants a World Wonder

Welcome Atelier Volten!

Sleep in a Modernist Gem – Huis Billiet in Bruges

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - 100 Years Van Zessen House

Exclusive Tour and Film Screening Package

The Last House Designed by Adolf Loos Will Be Built in Prague

Icons of the Czech Avantgarde

Icon for Sale - Casa Legorreta

Rietveld Day: 200 Enthusiasts Explored 3 Utrecht Icons

Hurray! 10 Years Iconic Houses

7th International Iconic Houses Conference A Huge Success

Meet Conference Co-Chair Iveta Černá

Meet Conference Co-Chair Maria Szadkowska

Eighteen Iconic Houses Under One Roof

17 June - 'Pioneers-film' Screening Amersfoort

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Eesteren House Museum

Welcome Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Zentrum in Vienna!

Welcome Vila Volman! Jewel of Czech Functionalism

Movie Night: Adolf Loos- Revolutionary Among Architects

'Inside Iconic Houses' Case Study House #26 Webcast in Webshop

Inside Iconic Houses at Taut’s Home in Berlin

Rediscovering Forgotten Loos Interiors in Pilsen

'Inside Iconic Houses' - Online Tour Program

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - The Diagoon House

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Rietveld Schröder House

Rietveld Houses Owners Association

Corberó Space: New Life for Hidden Jewel

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Pierre Cuypers' House and Workshops

Reeuwijk Celebrates Completion of Restoration Rietveld Homes!

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Doesburg Rinsema House

Welcome Rietveld's Van Daalen House!

Architect Harry Gessner Passed Away at 97

Watch Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Now On Demand

Icon Saved: Dorchester Drive House

Welcome Umbrella House!

Iconic Houses in the Netherlands – Berlage’s Masterpiece

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

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

Hans van Heeswijk on The Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Wessel de Jonge on Dutch Icons at Risk

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

Sponsors and Friends

An Afternoon with the Glucks

Chandler McCoy on Making Modern Houses Sustainable

Catherine Croft: Getting Away from the Demolition Mentality in the UK

Patrick Weber on Discovering an Unknown Icon

Fiona Fisher on Iconic Interiors

Jocelyn Bouraly on Villa Cavrois

Mireia Massagué on finding success through a new kind of partnership

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

Our Badge of Honour

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

Conference testimonials

House Tours May 2018 

Expert Meetings

Natascha Drabbe - Iconic Houses: The Next Chapter

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Hilary Lewis on Philip Johnson and his Glass House

John Arbuckle on Great House Tours

William D. Earls on the Harvard Five in New Canaan

Stover Jenkins on Working for Philip Johnson

Frederick Noyes on his Father’s House

Scott Fellows and Craig Bassam on their Passion for Preservation

Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)

Fabio Grementieri on Modernism in Argentina

Catalina Corcuera Cabezut on Casa Luis Barragán

Renato Anelli on Lina Bo Bardi’s Casa de Vidro

Tim McClimon on Corporate Preservation

Amanda Nelson on Building Donor Relationships

John Bacon on Planned Giving

Jean-Paul Warmoes on the Art of Fundraising in America

Chandler McCoy on Why Less is More

Katherine Malone-France on Moving with the Times

Anne Mette Rahbæk on Philanthropic Investments and Preservation

Peter McMahon on Saving Modern Houses on Cape Cod

Toshiko Kinoshita on Japanese Modern Heritage Houses

Roland Reisley on Life in a Frank Lloyd Wright House

5th Iconic Houses Conference May 2018

Kristin Stone, Pasadena Tour Company

Restoring the past: The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Home Studio

Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association

Crosby Doe, Architecture for Sale

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

Maintaining Aalto's Studio – Linoleum Conservation

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

Plečnik House in Ljubljana

Iconic Dacha

Iconic Houses: A Bohemian Road Trip

Work in Progress: Capricho de Gaudí

11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List

At home with Le Corbusier

Henry van de Velde’s Study in Haus Hohe Pappeln Restored

Lynda Waggoner reports

A Conference to Remember

4th International Iconic Houses Conference

Guest of Honor - Harry Gesner

Fallingwater: European Lecture Tour

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Susan Macdonald, Getty Conservation Institute

John Mcllwee, Garcia House

Meet the Friends – Elisabeth Tostrup

Iconic Houses: The Story So Far

Willie van Burgsteden, designer Iconic Houses

Buff Kavelman, Philanthropic Advisor

Meet the Friends - Frederick Noyes

Sheridan Burke, GML Heritage

Meet the Friends - Raymond Neutra

Sidney Williams, Frey House

Franklin Vagnone and Deborah Ryan, Museum Anarchists

Meet the Friends - James Haefner

Toshiko Mori, architect

Malachi Connolly, Cape Cod Modern House Trust

Meet the Friends - Penny Sparke

Lucia Dewey Atwood, Eames House

Cory Buckner, Mutual Housing Site Office

Jeffrey Herr, Hollyhock House

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

Sarah Lorenzen, Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Ted Bosley, Gamble House

Keeping It Modern - Getty Conservation Grants

Meet the Friends - Thomas Schönauer

Wim de Wit, Stanford University

Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy

Jesse Lattig, Pasadena Heritage

Join us in Los Angeles! Update

Work in Progress: Casa Vicens

Work in Progress: Van Wassenhove House

Work in Progress: Villa Cavrois

Work in Progress: The Pearlroth House

Conference calls!

Follow us!

Third Iconic Houses Conference a huge success

Conference House Tours Barcelona

Marta Lacambra, Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Natascha Drabbe, Iconic Houses Foundation

Special speaker Oscar Tusquets

Jordi Tresserras, UNESCO Network ‘Culture, tourism and development’

Christen Obel, Utzon Foundation

Elena Ruiz Sastre, Casa Broner

Fernando Alvarez Prozorovich, La Ricarda

Tim Benton, Professor of Art History (Emeritus)

Susana Landrove, Docomomo Spain

Rossend Casanova, Casa Bloc

Conference Program 25 November 2014

Jordi Falgàs, Casa Rafael Masó

Documentary La Ricarda

Marga Viza, Casa Míla/La Pedrera

Celeste Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Conference 25 November 2014 at La Pedrera

Henry Urbach, The Glass House

Victoria & Albert Museum London November 12

Tommi Lindh, new director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and Museum

Iveta Černá, Villa Tugendhat

Lynda Waggoner, Fallingwater

Kimberli Meyer, MAK Center

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

Taut's Home wins Europa Nostra Award

Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen

Message from the Editor

Neutra’s House on Screen

Michel Richard, Fondation Le Corbusier

Symposium The Public and the Modern House

Melnikov House on Screen

Iconic Houses in the media

Message from the Editor

Round Table Review

Eileen Gray House on Screen

Copy Culture

At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

Philippe Bélaval, Centre des monuments nationaux

Posted December 11, 2019

Chandler McCoy on Making Modern Houses Sustainable

Chandler McCoy has worked in the field of architectural conservation for over 25 years. Four years ago, he joined the Getty Conservation Institute to manage the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative.

First off, tell us about your forthcoming book on energy and conservation.
The book is called Energy and Climate Management: Case Studies in Conservation Practice, the second volume in our new Conserving Modern Heritage series. The purpose of this series is to provide useful information to building owners, architects, and conservators on specific topics that pertain to the conservation of buildings from the modern era. The case studies in this book show examples where improving energy efficiency and thermal comfort are successfully balanced with conserving the heritage values of the place. A lot of damage can be done to a historic property in the name of energy retrofitting if it doesn’t start with careful thinking about the architectural form, the materials and other qualities of the architecture. Doing this work requires a willingness to balance two important factors.

For the unconverted, why is it important to make Modern houses sustainable? And what are the biggest obstacles in making Modern houses more energy efficient?
It’s important to make all houses as sustainable and energy efficient as they can be whether they are Modern, traditional or vernacular buildings. We live in an age of climate change and depletion of natural resources. We also understand that using our existing buildings in a sustainable manner means keeping them in use rather than demolishing them. In some ways, energy use can be the Achilles heel of buildings from the Modern era. The architects from this time tried to incorporate as much glass as possible in their buildings to bring in natural daylight and tried to dematerialize exterior walls by making them as thin as possible. They opened their houses to the outdoors directly with floor to ceiling glazing and sliding glass doors. All of these aspects of a modern house are very challenging to retrofit. In many cases, the very thing that gives the house its beauty and its architectural character is seen by many as a big energy waster, because these features do not provide sufficient thermal buffer between the indoor environment and outdoor climate.

How did you get into this field, and why?
I loved being in architecture school and learning design but also loved architectural history, especially learning about the modern era. After working for a while, I found that I preferred working on existing buildings, especially ones with an important history. I discovered the organization Docomomo in the early 90’s and it immediately clicked with me, because it combined many of my interests, so I was drawn into the world of conserving works from the Modern era. Four years ago I started working at the Getty Conservation Institute, managing their Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative. This job allows me to pursue one of my main interests in many areas of the world.

What does the Conserving Modern Architecture initiative do?
The GCI launched the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI) in 2012 in order to advance the practice of conserving 20th-century built heritage. It identifies and addresses conservation challenges particular to modern architecture in several ways. It does research on Modern materials, with our current research focused on the repair of modern concrete. It produces and disseminates technical materials that will help architects and conservators solve difficult modern conservation problems. Our case study book series is an example of this. Also, the CMAI does education and training. We have a short introductory course on conserving modern architecture that we have offered in Los Angeles for two years, with a third course planned for July 2020. Finally, we work with partners like the Eames Foundation doing field projects on actual buildings that allow us to model best practices. We have just completed a Conservation Management Plan for the Eames House that is now available online, which we hope will inspire others to undertake conservation planning.

What initiatives would you like to see in order to advance energy efficiency and sustainability in Modern homes?
I live in California and really appreciate the fact that it created the California State Historical Building Code (CHBC). It is an incredibly valuable tool for the preservation of historic buildings. It recognizes the unique construction issues inherent in maintaining and adaptively reusing historic buildings and provides alternative building regulations for permitting repairs, alterations and additions. I would like to see similar thinking applied to energy standards, to create something such as ‘historic building energy codes’ developed by national and local authorities. This would emphasize improved overall building performance instead of focusing on setting requirements for the performance of individual building parts like glass, insulation, lighting, and so on.

Is updating Modern houses to 21st-century standards ever a realistic goal?
I think the objective should be to make 20th-century houses perform to the best of their ability rather than imposing 21st-century standards onto them. When working on energy improvements for houses from the modern movement, you have to start by assessing the building’s overall energy consumption and look at ways to improve it holistically. Perhaps the windows are single-glazed and are absolutely essential to the building’s historic identity. If that is the case, we leave the single glazing and focus on other areas where improvements can be made. This is a process that requires understanding the building and being very creative in finding solutions. Merely complying with building standards is not a creative process and it does not take into account issues like significance or architectural character.

How does improving energy efficiency pay off for such houses?
It means they consume less energy, so they cost less to operate and also are more comfortable to occupy.
Can such measures coexist with a more classical ideas of conservation? Yes, it can be done but it is a complicated balance to achieve. It requires commitment and creativity.
What other issues are you looking forward to discussing at the conference?
It’s very important for me to attend these conferences and find out what matters to the owners of modern houses, whether it is technical and operational issues, visitor management, or challenges related to heritage protection.

Do you have a favourite young heritage house (1965 or younger), and why?
Because of my recent involvement with IHN’s Icons at Risk effort, I have become aware of the Casa Sperimentale built during the 1960s and 70s as a seaside villa outside Rome by the architect Guiseppe Perugini for himself and his family. It is in now unoccupied, is very dire condition and is covered in graffiti, but it is nevertheless a marvel of modernist architecture. Designed as a concrete ‘treehouse’, it is as experimental as its name implies, using reinforced concrete to its maximum potential for sculptural expression.

In your opinion, what is the most urgent issue that iconic houses currently face?
Finding owners who will care for them in the appropriate way. This is a challenge and not for the faint of heart, requiring an understanding of what makes them significant.

Conversely, what do you think are the most hopeful circumstance for heritage homes currently?
In the short history of conserving modern heritage, we are now at a point where there is general agreement that works from the 20th century are important and do qualify as heritage. Twenty years ago, that was not true at all. Although taking care of heritage homes is not an easy task, there are now networks like Iconic Houses that help raise awareness of this issue and provide support.

Jane Szita

Posted December 11, 2019