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

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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

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Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione

Test Labs for New Ideas - Interview with Natascha Drabbe

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Inside Iconic Houses - 16 December: Sunnylands with Janice Lyle

BCN-BXL Coderch-De Koninck - Beyond Time

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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

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Toolkit for Owners of a Modern House

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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

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Lecture report: Remembering Richard Neutra

Hôtel Mezzara and the Guimard Museum project

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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

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Planned Demolition of Rietveld Homes in Reeuwijk

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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

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Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

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Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

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Documentary La Ricarda

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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

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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

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At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

Posted 26 July 2021

A Life Less Ordinary – Interview with Valentijn Carbo

Valentijn Carbo with Polman House in background. Photo Polman House: Arjan Bronkhorst. 

Valentijn Carbo is an architectural historian at the Hendrick de Keyser Association, the leading private trust for the preservation of historic houses in the Netherlands. He currently runs their Museum Houses project, which aims to open up 35 of the association’s most important houses to the public. Carbo is also a board member of the Dutch Interior Foundation and participates in the interior platform of the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. For Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House, he talks about social housing in the 20th century. He also presents the video on the theme of social housing, from one of its icons, Museum Het Schip.

What ground will your lecture cover?
I’ll be looking at social housing on different levels – as architecture, as urban planning, and also the way it is embedded in social development. I will talk not just about the icons of Dutch social housing like Het Schip, but also the more average examples, and how these came about due to the influential Woningwet (‘dwellings law’) of 1901 which opened the way to standardization.

In recent years, more social housing projects have opened to the public – what is driving this trend?
I think more attention is being paid to the stories of ordinary, working people and how they lived. This is a broad cultural phenomenon that also relates to the way we deal with modern heritage now – not just as individual houses, but on a larger scale as neighbourhoods and communities. This is true, for example, of the Polman House – with the Hendrick de Keyser Association, we have made it the model house for an entire row of 32 houses.

Why is social housing important?
One reason is because it relates to the needs of today – once again, there is a shortage of homes, and we are living in relatively small spaces. Social housing can be an inspiration in these areas. It’s still very relevant. Another reason is that social housing is a critical test for an architect in terms of the demands and budget restrictions. It’s interesting to see how architects like Rietveld, Dudok and Van der Vlugt, who also built for private clients, handled this challenge.

Does the approach need to be different in presenting social housing to the public?
Very much so – it’s hard, for example, for visitors today to realise how innovative these homes were. The people who lived in them had come from rural poverty or urban slums, and suddenly they had modern facilities. They try to get this across at Museum Het Schip, for example, by recreating a slum in a container.
Another aspect it’s easy to miss is the fact that how the architects envisoned the houses, and how people lived in them, were two different things. So in the Polman House, we have used the kind of dark, heavy furniture people placed in these homes – very different from the Gispen pieces the architects imagined, but that the residents couldn’t afford and perhaps didn’t even like!

What are you currently working on?
Our network of new museum houses – including the Jan de Jong House in Schaijk, which the architect built for himself and his family. I’m looking at how we can present it to the public, for example I’m talking to his five children about what it was like to grow up in the house.

What is your favourite 20th-century house, and why?
The Jan de Jong House – because it’s all about space and how beautiful space can be. Experiencing it, you feel calm and serene. It’s a wonderful example of architecture’s power to affect us. My favourite example of social housing is Het Schip – it’s so beautiful, it shows such respect for ordinary working people.

How could current social housing learn from its predecessors?
Today the focus is on volume and quantity, but in the early 20th century, social housing was about how to live a better life.

Recreated slum dwelling in courtyard of Museum Het Schip. Photo: Jan Reinier van der Vliet. 
Museumwoning bij Museum Het Schip, Michel de Klerk, Amsterdam, 1921. Photo: Jan Reinier van der Vliet. 

Click here for the teaser Palaces for the People.

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.

Posted 26 July 2021