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

Updated 22 March 2021

Hetty Berens: A Fresh Take on Modernism

In the run-up to Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House, our Iconic Houses online event in September, we talk to leading authorities on architecture in the Netherlands about the Dutch reinvention of the house in the 20th century. Hetty Berens, an architectural historian and curator, is responsible for the Sonneveld House in Rotterdam, which has been restored to its original 1930s glory. She is the Co-Chair of the 2021 online conference Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House. In her video at this Iconic Houses event in September, she'll talk about how improved hygiene made healthier homes in The Netherlands. In this interview she'll talk about the importance of getting beyond Modernist clichés.

Why do we need a fresh take on Modernism?
So that people can be aware of how things connect. Modernist houses are embedded in longer traditions. In the case of the Sonneveld House, the architect was starting from a quite traditional floorplan, and mixing in elements of Art Deco and De Stijl.

How does the Sonneveld House fit into the bigger picture?
If you look at the books covering this period, you won’t find this house – instead, you’ll find the example of the Van Nelle Factory which is strongly related to it, along with two other houses that are private. Out of these four buildings forming an ensemble, the Sonneveld House is the only one you can visit.

What do you most want visitors to notice about the house?
That the architecture, interior and family are three parts of a single whole. All three are important in telling the story of the house – and we are lucky enough to have a complete archive for them all. That’s quite unique. I’ve noticed that many house museums don’t show their sources – yet they bring history to life.

Do you have tips for other houses on storytelling through archives?
You can communicate about a house through both local sources and national archives. Look at a broad range of traditional and non-traditional sources to bring the story to life. For example, we have a Moroccan carpet in the house, and the Sonnevelds actually visited Morocco to see the factory. Through this story, I want to connect with Moroccan designers and the Moroccan community in Rotterdam – a potential new audience.

In Rotterdam there is lots of young heritage. How do you think it will fare?
Well, we have the RCE (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands) and they are taking the first steps in researching and documenting it. It’s not only about ‘iconic’ in terms of appearance, but also in terms of original thinking. For example, in the 1970s, Organic Architecture had a strong emphasis on sustainability – something that’s vitally important today.

Do you have a favourite example of Organic Architecture?
I love Private House de Waal in Rijnsweerd (Utrecht, 1978-1980), by Ton Alberts and also the Kristalwoningen in Zeist (1984), by Henk Hupkes. The latter is under threat of demolition, but there is already a nice grassroots campaign by residents to save it.

What would you like the next move to be in young Dutch heritage?
I would like there to be an overview of post-war Dutch housing, to see which houses are open to public and whether there are gaps. And then see what can be done to fill those gaps. Diversity matters – the Sonneveld is a beautiful example of Modernism, but I’d love to there to be an Organic house museum too.

Private house de Waal, Rijnsweerd, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Architect: Ton Alberts, 1980. 
Photo in background montage top of page: Sonneveld House, Brinkman and Van der Vlugt, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1933. Photo Els Zweerink. 

Click here for the teaser Hygiene and Health in the Modern Home.

Jane Szita

Curious about the Iconic Houses Online Modules?
Watch the recording of this module through our WEBSHOP.
Check out the full program of lectures and five-part series of thematic videos about the Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House HERE.

Updated 22 March 2021