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

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Casa Masó Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

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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

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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

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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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At home with Le Corbusier

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

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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

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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 22 July 2021

Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione

Gennaro Postiglione with the Korsmo House in Oslo (1955) in the background. Photo: Finn Arne Johannessen. 

Gennaro Postiglione is Professor of Interior Architecture at Politecnico di Milano and author of The Architect's Home (Taschen) – a topic he revisits as a keynote speaker at the online conference Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House. He researches the culture of domestic interiors, while his research-by-design activity addresses the adaptive reuse of minor or neglected heritage buildings and alternative housing concepts for today’s variety of households. He understands research and teaching as an integral part of design practice.

What ground will your lecture cover?
I will look at the architect’s house as an interesting form of 3D self-reflection which is otherwise rare in the architect’s oeuvre. In all houses built by architects for themselves, you see a mix of character and ideas – which may or may not be in harmony with each other.

What form does this 3D self-reflection take?
I would say there are four types of architect’s house: the manifesto, which mainly expresses ideas (like Domenig’s); the lifestyle house, which explores a way of living (as the majority do); the experimental house, which is essentially trying out new ideas (like Albini’s); and what I call the nest or habitus, in which the architect – and their family – is embedded in the house and it embodies them, almost like clothing that they wear (like Perriand’s). These four are not mutually exclusive, by the way.

Your book on architect’s houses as self-portraits is almost 20 years old, yet it’s still a bestseller. How do you explain its appeal?
It’s a book you can enjoy on different levels – it has beautiful photography, detailed drawings and texts written by local experts. The selection of architects is interesting and rich, covering both famous names like Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto and far less well-known figures like Mogen Lassen from Denmark and Umberto Riva from Italy. Compiling the book as a curatorial team of five, and consulting with 30 different institutions across Europe, led to an eclectic and unexpected selection. I am told by several architects that they use the book when initially meeting with new clients for houses, to show them what’s possible and find out their preferences, so it’s a useful source book and also a great coffee table book.

Do you think that the architect’s house remains as important as it was last century?
I think the architect’s house is timeless – you can go from Michelangelo, 500 years ago, up to Rem Koolhaas today.

What are you currently working on?
Housing – I am trying to address the gap between what the market has to offer, which is still based on the idea of the monolithic nuclear family, and today’s new household, which is far more varied and fluid. As part of this research, I have redesigned my own department, combining separate living units of one or two rooms with shared spaces – a home for individuals, rather than a family. It goes without saying that I learned a lot from other architect’s houses in creating my own.

What’s your favourite architect’s house?
I love Arno Korsmo’s house in Oslo, where he lived with his wife. The house was built for their specific needs – for example his wife’s enamel workshop – but it was also extremely adaptable. The living room could also function as a theatre and meeting place; Korsmo’s office was also the main bedroom, thanks to the use of revolving beds. And all this flexibility was achieved with a wonderful sense of proportion, geometry and transparency. It’s a beautiful house.

How do you think our domestic spaces should change in the light of the pandemic, and the lockdown which confined us all to our homes?
I think that Covid-19 has emphasized a crisis that was already there – namely, the fact that the Modern idea of the home is at the end of its usefulness. In Modernism, housing was always functional: each room has one specific use and cannot easily be used for anything else. I believe we should rethink the legacy of earlier architecture. In 19th-century buildings, the layout was generic: rooms could be used for anything, yet spatially they had a strong character. We should design houses today with less stress on function, and more on the character of space – and leave the inhabitants to work out how to use them.

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 22 July 2021