NEW SECTION: Toolkit for Owners of a Modern House
13 Aalto Sites Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage
Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House
Business Cards of Stone, Timber and Concrete in the Brussels Region 1830-1970
Villa Beer At Risk
Exhibiting & Visiting Modernist Monuments
Fostering Well-Researched Responsible Design
ICONS AT RISK
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
July - Iconic Houses Month
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
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
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
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
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
At Home in the 20th Century
New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches
Winy Maas on the Green Dip
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. Winy Maas is an architect, professor, urbanist and a cofounder of the highly influential office MVRDV, which has been producing a steady stream of cutting-edge residential projects since 1993. He also heads The Why Factory think-tank at the TU Delft. MVRDV’s conceptual approach to living is very much in the spirit of the iconic architects of the past which makes him the perfect expert to share with us his ideas for future living.
MVRDV is known for rather visionary housing projects. What inspires you about the visionary homes of the past?
Architecture deserves experimentation. So, among the enormous variety of buildings from past architects, the ones I value most are those that had the courage to innovate, from Mies van der Rohe to Frank Lloyd Wright to Hundertwasser - it’s a huge list. For me it all comes down to the courage to take risks, often on the part of both the architects and their clients.
|Hundertwasserhouse in Vienna. Online source: KLM.com.|
Does experimentation always equal innovation?
It’s hard to invent when there’s so much new stuff all around us already. Architects and clients want unique pieces, but it makes more sense if we – just like the medical profession, for example – build on previous research, mastering the gaps within it. With The Why Factory, we made the book Copy Paste which is about referencing things while upgrading them – there’s lots of room to improve on existing things. I think we should optimize what’s already there, building on the past, rather than always try for the new.
What copy-pasting are you currently doing with MVRDV?
Green architecture – buildings that incorporate plants – already exists, we don’t need to invent it as an idea, and it is something we’re building on. With the Why Factory, we will soon release the book, The Green Dip, which is about how to ‘dip’ architecture fully, our buildings and cities, in nature. In the research behind the book, we’ve investigated all the different kinds of biomes on our planet, and the plant species that thrive in each one, as the basis for greening our cities. Then we look at how such a greening would help with the climate crisis. Plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities, and promote biodiversity. The results of our research are stunning: with the Green Dip, we could achieve a cooling effect of 0.75 degrees globally. That is substantial.
How does this translate into your own architecture?
We are taking the next steps towards the Green Dip with buildings like our Green Villa in Sint-Michielsgestel, which essentially replaces the façade with rows of plant pots on shelves, and with our new mixed-use building for Amsterdam, The Valley, which is largely constructed out of terraces. Then there’s our Depot building in Rotterdam, which will have a rooftop forest consisting of big birch trees. The next step will come from studying how plants react to growing in such vertical locations. Further down the road, when we vegetize our buildings, we will create more room for wildlife – leading to greater biodiversity in our cities. And in the future vegetation will also be part of our interiors. Eventually, we’ll be making our buildings out of vegetation itself.
|Green Village. Photo: courtesy MVRDV.|
How do you see the iconic house of the future?
There can be many of them – representing the enormous architectural variety of today. Buildings that can transform, change, grow – these will be the real icons of tomorrow.
What makes you optimistic about the future?
There is a lot of energy for change. If I get depressed – which is rare – it’s because of the slowness of governments and developers in reacting. We need to work quickly and collectively on creating healthy, balanced environments and on ending conflicts.
What is the role of the architect in this?
Architects can help generate a political understanding of our world and inspire our future planet – architecture can stretch the imagination on that level. It’s a huge responsibility – consider that our buildings may last 50 years or more, our cities even longer.
Where do you find inspiration?
The Club of Rome – because that was the first time (recently) that people said that things have to change massively.
|Didden Village. Photo: courtesy MVRDV.|
Curious about the Iconic Houses Online Event 2021?
Check out the program of lectures, expert meetings and videoseries about the Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House HERE.
Updated 22 March 2021