Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - The Diagoon House

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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!

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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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Health and Home - Interview with Beatriz Colomina

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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

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Alice Roegholt on Amsterdam’s Working-Class Palaces

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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

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ICONS AT RISK

Enjoy a virtual visit to the California House and a Q&A with architect Peter Gluck

Exhibition 'Modernism and Refuge'

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Sponsors and Friends

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Conference testimonials

House Tours May 2018 

Expert Meetings

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John Arbuckle on Great House Tours

William D. Earls on the Harvard Five in New Canaan

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Frederick Noyes on his Father’s House

Scott Fellows and Craig Bassam on their Passion for Preservation

Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)

Fabio Grementieri on Modernism in Argentina

Catalina Corcuera Cabezut on Casa Luis Barragán

Renato Anelli on Lina Bo Bardi’s Casa de Vidro

Tim McClimon on Corporate Preservation

Amanda Nelson on Building Donor Relationships

John Bacon on Planned Giving

Jean-Paul Warmoes on the Art of Fundraising in America

Chandler McCoy on Why Less is More

Katherine Malone-France on Moving with the Times

Anne Mette Rahbæk on Philanthropic Investments and Preservation

Peter McMahon on Saving Modern Houses on Cape Cod

Toshiko Kinoshita on Japanese Modern Heritage Houses

Roland Reisley on Life in a Frank Lloyd Wright House

5th Iconic Houses Conference May 2018

Kristin Stone, Pasadena Tour Company

Restoring the past: The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Home Studio

Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association

Crosby Doe, Architecture for Sale

Latin America Special – Focus on Mexico

De Stijl in Drachten

Preserving the Nancarrow House-Studio

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Latin America Special – Focus on Brazil

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Stay in a Belgian Modernist Masterpiece

In Berlin’s Modernist Network

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Maintaining Aalto's Studio – Linoleum Conservation

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

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Iconic Dacha

Iconic Houses: A Bohemian Road Trip

Work in Progress: Capricho de Gaudí

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Henry van de Velde’s Study in Haus Hohe Pappeln Restored

Lynda Waggoner reports

A Conference to Remember

4th International Iconic Houses Conference

Guest of Honor - Harry Gesner

Fallingwater: European Lecture Tour

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Susan Macdonald, Getty Conservation Institute

John Mcllwee, Garcia House

Meet the Friends – Elisabeth Tostrup

Iconic Houses: The Story So Far

Willie van Burgsteden, designer Iconic Houses

Buff Kavelman, Philanthropic Advisor

Meet the Friends - Frederick Noyes

Sheridan Burke, GML Heritage

Meet the Friends - Raymond Neutra

Sidney Williams, Frey House

Franklin Vagnone and Deborah Ryan, Museum Anarchists

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Toshiko Mori, architect

Malachi Connolly, Cape Cod Modern House Trust

Meet the Friends - Penny Sparke

Lucia Dewey Atwood, Eames House

Cory Buckner, Mutual Housing Site Office

Jeffrey Herr, Hollyhock House

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

Sarah Lorenzen, Neutra VDL Studio and Residences

Ted Bosley, Gamble House

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Wim de Wit, Stanford University

Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy

Jesse Lattig, Pasadena Heritage

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Conference calls!

Follow us!

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Conference House Tours Barcelona

Marta Lacambra, Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Natascha Drabbe, Iconic Houses Foundation

Special speaker Oscar Tusquets

Jordi Tresserras, UNESCO Network ‘Culture, tourism and development’

Christen Obel, Utzon Foundation

Elena Ruiz Sastre, Casa Broner

Fernando Alvarez Prozorovich, La Ricarda

Tim Benton, Professor of Art History (Emeritus)

Susana Landrove, Docomomo Spain

Rossend Casanova, Casa Bloc

Conference Program 25 November 2014

Jordi Falgàs, Casa Rafael Masó

Documentary La Ricarda

Marga Viza, Casa Míla/La Pedrera

Celeste Adams, Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Conference 25 November 2014 at La Pedrera

Henry Urbach, The Glass House

Victoria & Albert Museum London November 12

Tommi Lindh, new director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and Museum

Iveta Černá, Villa Tugendhat

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Kimberli Meyer, MAK Center

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Posted 20 July 2021

Test Labs for New Ideas - Interview with Natascha Drabbe

Natascha Drabbe. Background photo Van Schijndel House, Theo Baart. 

Natascha Drabbe is the founder and executive director of the Iconic Houses network. She is the Conference Chair of the 2021 online conference Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House and presents the thematic video about the houses that architects design for themselves. She graduated in architectural history from Utrecht University and has published, curated, lectured and been a member of design and architecture juries at home and abroad. She was an international project manager at the Dutch Design Foundation (Premsela) from 2002 to 2006. In 2007, she set up the Mart van Schijndel Foundation, in order to keep that architect’s ideas alive and make his home in Utrecht available for guided tours, lectures and film screenings. This was followed by launch of the Iconic Houses Foundation in 2008 and the website iconichouses.org in 2012. International Iconic Houses conferences have been held in London, Barcelona, Los Angeles and New Canaan. Natascha Drabbe lives in the Van Schijndel House in Utrecht.

The pandemic has forced the Iconic Houses conference to migrate online. What are the advantages of this new format?
Attendees can virtually visit more houses – 20 in total, spread all over the Netherlands – than we could have covered physically. Also, it’s much easier to attend the conference online – the modules are never longer than 90 minutes, and with one a week you can plan your schedule around them. You can also watch modules later, at a time that suits you. Finally, of course, it costs far less to take part because there are no physical tours and no travel and accommodation costs.

The video you present is about architect’s houses – what approach does it take?
Houses that architects design for themselves are like test labs for new ideas. In the four houses that are central to this episode, we see the architects Van Ravesteyn, Jan de Jong, Mart van Schijndel and the Kortekaas duo putting their theories into practice down to the smallest detail. We also see what a challenge it is to build an experimental house with the small budget that architects usually have for their own homes. As a result, they often experiment with unorthodox, cheap building materials, which later leads to major restoration issues.

How is your own house, now that it’s turning 30 next year?
It’s in need of renovation and I’ve worked on this, which is a project in itself, throughout the pandemic, with a team of experts and lots of love and attention. The house is less there for me than I am for the house!
But I hope that after the current intensive round of repairs – foundations, new roof, new sealant joints and replacing a couple of leaky windows – I will only have to deal with minor maintenance for the next few years and can enjoy the house more.

After the long lockdown, which house are you longing to see in real life?
Wherever we go with our next Leadership Circle tour! On this tour, we visit a special house together with the living architect. At the end of October 2019, we started off with a wonderful visit to the Tower House by GLUCK+ in upstate New York. Then the pandemic struck.
I would also love to see Palais Stoclet, designed by Joseph Hoffman in Brussels in 1911. It’s an Art Nouveau treasure, with mosaics by painter Gustav Klimt in the dining room – no wonder it’s on the World Heritage List! It still has all the original furniture and belongs to the same family, but unfortunately it’s not open to the public.

Palais Stoclet in Brussels.  

How has the pandemic changed the way you live in, and feel about, your home?
Unable to work out at the gym, I now work out in the central room, on Zoom with a friend in Stockholm. The same goes for hulahoop and dance workouts and dinners with friends – all on Zoom! After 18 months, I sometimes feel as if the walls are closing in on me. One advantage is that my patio gardens have never looked so good! Now I’m glad I can start to get out again and also have people visit the house for guided tours.

Have you got any tips for books and films relating to this year’s conference theme?
Museum Het Schip has made a great short film about its new project on World Garden Cities – an idea that was very influential in the Netherlands as in many other countries. The book Minitopia – only in Dutch unfortunately – has lots of ideas for building your own compact and sustainable home today, very much in the experimental Dutch tradition of last century.

Click here for the teaser Home as Self-Portrait: Architect's Houses.

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 20 July 2021