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

Inside Iconic Houses Tours Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami

Casa Masó Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Inside Iconic Houses tours Roland Reisley's Usonian Frank Lloyd Wright House

Rietveld’s Experimental Housing in Reeuwijk Saved

Serralves Villa after restoration

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

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

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