NEW! ICONS AT RISK
SPECIAL – Iconic Holidays!
SPECIAL – Hello Germany!
SPECIAL – Hello Netherlands!
Villa Henny, geometric style icon in The Netherlands
A Mendini temple in Amsterdam
6th Iconic Houses Conference June 2021
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
Modernism on the East Coast
Conference Round Up Day 1: Modernism on the East Coast – Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five
Our biannual international conference in Norwalk (New Canaan), CT, highlighted the important contribution of this talented group of architects - while sharing the knowledge and experience of the experts and enthusiasts preserving this unique residential heritage.
Your Verdict - A Runaway Success!
'A thrill'...'Wonderful!'...'Energizing and encouraging'...'A great opportunity to meet and learn from others'... 'Impressive'...'An unforgettable experience!'...'A great inspiration!'...'A special, family atmosphere!'...'Seamless and truly rich'...
These were just some of your comments on the conference. See your comments in full here - and, if you haven't already done so, please send us your feedback.
See our sizzle reel of the lecture part of the conference here and for the complete photo gallery, including the house tours, follow this link.
The day-by-day schedule of the Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference can be found here
Retracing the route taken by Modernism on its arrival on the East Coast of the USA, the Fifth International Iconic Houses Conference took as one of its main themes Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five.
In the 1940s, this group of five modern architects from Harvard, all of whom were inspired by Bauhaus, settled in the bucolic town of New Canaan, CT, where they stirred up an experimental modernist movement in the sleepy New England town. Marcel Breuer, Eliot Noyes, Landis Gores, John Johansen and Philip Johnson established what would become a centre of experimental Modern residential design. Their informal network later became known, of course, as the Harvard Five.
Our conference offered insights into the role of architect Philip Johnson and the Harvard Five in the 20th century, and their enduring relevance today. Their unique houses were the focus of our conference lectures and house tours. Over 100 iconic house owners, house museum managers and curators, experts and enthusiasts gathered together to visit the homes, sharing experiences, challenges and successes in the light of the Harvard Modernists - some of whom, like Marcel Breuer, had a global impact, working in Latin America (the subject of our second conference theme) and mentoring architects who took their influence still further afield.
Many of the tours included homes not normally open to the public, and often we were welcomed by the house residents themselves - including Roland Reisley of the Reisley House in Usonia, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. A Q&A session with Reisley and Lynda Waggoner (of Fallingwater) at the VIP Kick-Off (held at Richard Meier's Smith House) explored the amazing adventure of being Lloyd Wright's client. Unique insights like Reisley's abounded. Frederick Noyes was another example, showing us round the house his father built, the Noyes House II, which remains a family home.
Keynote Address by Terence Riley:
Philip Johnson - Portrait of the Curator as a Young Man
In the lecture hall too, speakers gave us the inside story. Keynote speaker Terence Riley - although unable to be physically present due to adverse weather conditions - kept us spellbound with tales of Philip Johnson's formative years, building up a picture of the unique qualities that led to his staggering influence on American architecture over four decades. In the panel discussion that followed, moderated by Hilary Lewis, Chief Curator & Creative Director at The Glass House, plus architects John Arbuckle, President of DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State, Stover Jenkins, co-author of The Houses of Philip Johnson and William D. Earls, explored more facets of the important architect and the Harvard Five.
In addition, architect Frederick Noyes told us about his childhood home, the Noyes House II (1954) in New Canaan. Designed by his father Eliot Noyes and included on the National Register of Historic Places, the house’s unique composition — two enclosures for public and private functions connected by an open air courtyard — remains highly provocative.
Then we heard from Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows, the private owners of the Hodgson House (1951), designed by Philip Johnson in New Canaan. They are in the process of restoring the house meticulously, and they told us how their curatorial approach is bringing the house into line with 21st-century requirements.
Watch the conference lectures on Johnson and the Harvard Five (below), or follow this link to all the video lectures.
|Terence Riley||Panel Discussion|
|Frederick Noyes||Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows|
Click on the photos for conference words of welcome from Iconic Houses founder Natascha Drabbe, plus an interview with Tim McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation, our conference Lead Sponsor
|Natascha Drabbe, Conference Chair, founder Iconic Houses||Tim McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation|
Click on the photos below to read our interviews with the speakers
|Natascha Drabbe||Terence Riley|
|Hilary Lewis||Stover Jenkins|
|William D. Earls||John Arbuckle|
|Frederick Noyes||Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows|
The House Tours in the afternoon explored four private houses designed by Philip Johnson in New Canaan: the Alice Ball House, Boissonnas House, Hodgson House, and the iconic Glass House.
The Ball House is one of five Philip Johnson houses in the New Canaan area, situated on the most coveted street and built immediately after the completion of the Glass House. A minimal and modest house, it is surrounded by multi-milion-dollar mansions. Current owner architect Reja Bakh explained to us his plans to leave the house intact while building another house of his own design to the rear of the site. A way to preserve the Johnson property could be to use it as a show house or art gallery.
The opportunity to tour the world-famous Glass House was a major reason to hold our conference in New Canaan. One of the few houses on our tour schedule that is actually a house museum, it opened to the public in 2007. Its design is simple: an open plan, interrupted only by a circular brick bathroom and with a kitchen concealed under a sleek walnut folding bar. Ventilation is provided by floor-to-ceiling doors on all sides that can be opened to the elements. With this house and 14 other structures he designed for the 49-acre site, Johnson created a fascinating private world here for himself and his friends.
One of Philip Johnsons's other masterpieces is the Boissonnas House. Owners Bill Matassoni and Pam Valentine welcomed each of our groups personally and after their introduction allowed us discover the grounds. The house is in perfect condition and very liveable. A nice detail is that the kitchen remains in its original state, revealing the simpler requirements of that time. An easy and practical solution involved putting two small ovens in here, in place of one big one. In most cases, the kitchen - like the bathroom - is the first to go. This solution ensures that the rhythm of the cabinets remains intact, while enabling the required oven capacity.
The residents of the Hodsgon House are renovating the building expertly and lovingly. Architect Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows tell us all about it in their lecture, and they were both present during our tour.
Save the Date: Our Next Conference!
Our Sixth International Conference will take place on June 2 - 8, 2020, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. See you there!
Stay tuned for regular updates about our next conference and Iconic Houses lecture series and sign up for our monthly newsletter.
Posted on 19 July 2018