Inside Iconic Houses Tours are back! Isokon Building 18 November

Inside Iconic Houses - Live Online Tour Program

Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione

Test Labs for New Ideas - Interview with Natascha Drabbe

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

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

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 January 2020

Jocelyn Bouraly on Villa Cavrois

Jocelyn Bouraly managed Villa Cavrois (1929-32) for the past three years, the Robert Mallet-Stevens masterpiece in Croix which was saved from demolition to become a popular house museum with 150,000 visitors a year. It is also one of only three Modern houses owned by the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN).

How did your involvement with Villa Cavrois begin?
I was in charge of the CMN (Centre des monuments nationaux) publishing house and we devoted a few books to Villa Cavrois. I was fascinated by its beauty and history. A few years later, I was lucky enough to get my present job.

It’s an almost unique example of a Modern house in CMN ownership. What criteria decided the acquisition?
Villa Cavrois was taken over by the CMN in 2008. At that time, CMN had only one Modern house, namely Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier on the outskirts of Paris. These two remarkable houses, Cavrois and Savoye, by two master architects, were designed at the same time and were seen as two complementary assets.

The house was almost lost forever before being saved by a grassroots movement. What happened exactly?
In the early 1990s, Villa Cavrois was owned by a real-state company which wanted to tear it down to build apartment buildings. Admirers of the building founded a preservation association for the house and brought it to the government’s attention. In 1990, the house was protected from demolition – but was abandoned by its owners to neglect and looting. Finally, the state purchased Villa Cavrois in 2001 and renovation followed. In 2009, CMN began the final restoration of the interiors and Villa Cavrois finally opened to the public in June 2015.

What can other icons at risk learn from Villa Cavrois’s experience?
Perseverance and obstinacy are rewarded! Without the relentless commitment of a few believers, Villa Cavrois would never have been saved.

Is enough being done to preserve Modern houses in France?
The year 1999 was a turning point: the Ministry of Culture decided to mark the transition to the 21st century by highlighting the importance of our modern cultural heritage. The creation of a specific label - the 20th-Century Heritage label - was part of this strategy. The state purchase of Villa Cavrois in 2001 should be seen in this light, of course.

What’s the picture like in France when it comes to newer heritage - post 1965?
Few post-1965 buildings have been awarded the 20th-Century Heritage label or even listed. This isn’t enough and we need to take bolder initiatives.

Do you have a favourite post-1965 house?
Villa Delcourt (1968-9), designed by Richard Neutra a short time before his death. Only a few miles from Villa Cavrois, it looks like a Californian UFO that accidentally landed in Europe! It’s a masterful composition of vertical and horizontal planes with an interesting use of water and mirrors to emphasize nearby nature in a suburban setting.

Maison Delcourt, Richard Neutra, Croix, France 1969. Photo courtesy Barnes International Realty.  

What developments have you noticed in recent years regarding Modern homes, and how are these impacting Villa Cavrois?
Modern homes and industrial heritage now get more attention from both general public and the authorities. Our strong visitor numbers at Villa Cavrois show an obvious interest in Modernism after a long period of neglect.

Jane Szita

Posted 15 January 2020