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

29 January 2019/updated 24 May 2021

SPECIAL – Iconic Housing

Iconic Houses isn’t just about detached 20th-century villas and the ideal homes of individual clients. It’s also about the experiments of avant-garde architects in designing idealistic housing for the masses. An increasing number of museums in developments like these operate as a historical ‘show home’ – a time capsule, displaying how factory or middle-class workers lived in the 20th century. These experiments in living were often progressive designs showing (mainly) improvements in sanitary and hygienic facilities. Later on, other ideals were added, as the examples below indicate. Each and every one of them is an idealistic design, intended to bring more joy as well as practical improvements to the lives of their residents.

We have listed the 16 housing projects that currently number among our total of 150 Iconic Houses, and all of them can of course be booked for a guided tour. So far, they are mainly in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain and the UK. Click for more information and to see where they are on our world map. They are arranged in chronological order.

We are always looking for new and inspiring examples. If you know of one, that can be visited (that’s an important criterion), and has a website that we can link to, let us know!

Casa Milà - La Pedrera Apartment, Barcelona (1906-1912)
Gaudí was commissioned to build an apartment house, with the aim of turning the main floor into a family residence for his client and leasing out the rest of the dwellings. Casa Milà is popularly known as 'La Pedrera' (the stone quarry) in allusion to the resemblance of its façade to an open quarry. In 1984 UNESCO inscribed La Pedrera in its World Heritage List, for its exceptional universal value.

Het Schip, Amsterdam (1919-1921)
‘Workers’ palace’ The Ship, by the Dutch architect Michel de Klerk, is renowned worldwide. The building contained 102 dwellings for the working classes, a small meeting hall, a post office and a school. It is built in the style of the Amsterdam School, a Dutch version of Art Deco. Besides looking like a ship, its appearance is unconventional from all angles.

Papaverhof, The Hague (1921)
Papaverhof is a court with 128 middle-class homes laid out in a horseshoe-shaped ring around a sunken park that are part of residential complex Daal en Berg, which was built to a design by De Stijl architect Jan Wils. This listed complex is counted among the Top 100 of the Dutch monuments and is the only residential complex in the world, designed to the views of De Stijl.

De Dageraad, Amsterdam (1922-1923)
Cooperative Housing Association De Dageraad (The Dawn), realised a social housing estate, designed by young high-profile architects Piet Kramer and Michel de Klerk. Since 2011, Museum Het Schip has a satellite visitors centre in a former shop in De Dageraad. The centre forms a home base for tours of the Amsterdam School in Amsterdam South.

Quartier Modernes Frugès, Pessac (1924-1926)
Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret, conceived this neighbourhood near Bordeaux on the garden city model, using standard housing to create houses both similar and varied. This urban utopia took up the challenge of modern housing for large numbers and is considered a revolution in terms of construction and aesthetics, as well as in comfort and social progress.

mayhaus, Frankfurt (1928)
The mayhaus is the model house of the New Frankfurt. It has been restored and returned to the condition in which it was first occupied around 1928. It thus exemplifies the political, economic and artistic reforms for which Frankfurt's mayor Ludwig Landmann received worldwide attention at the end of the 1920s when he commissioned municipal councillor and architect Ernst May to solve the housing shortage.

De Kiefhoek, Rotterdam (1928-1930)
The Kiefhoek is a housing estate to house workers of originally 294 family houses and several central facilities, designed by architect J.J.P. Oud according to the principles of the Modern Movement. Oud used a functionalist urban layout and an ingenious ground plan to create maximum living space in each dwelling, that can be experienced during your visit.

Taut’s Home, Berlin (1930)
Travel back in time to Berlin's stylish 1930s accommodation at the UNESCO-World heritage site at the Horseshoe Estate. Suitable for up to four guests, Taut’s Home is a cultural treasure with the character of a museum and a real-life experience of design history. This is probably the closest you can get to the spirit of emergent Modernism and the Golden Twenties in Berlin.

Robijnhof Model Home, Utrecht (1931)
Shortly after the Second World War, Rietveld designed almost six hundred dwellings in the Hoograven district in Utrecht. Robijnhof homes were meant for ordinary people: practical, affordable, with light and spacious interiors. Centraal Museum has furnished a home with pieces by renowned local furniture manufacturer Pastoe. A visit is like stepping back into the early 1950s!

Erasmuslaan Model Home, Utrecht (1934)
The Rietveld Schröder House is not the only house that Gerrit Rietveld designed in Utrecht. Others include the nearby housing blocks on Erasmuslaan: a block of four townhouses (1931), followed by an apartment block (1934). In October 1931, Rietveld furnished one of the town houses to serve as a model home. The Centraal Museum has reconstructed this interior now to visit.

Isokon Building, London (1934)
The Isokon Building was a progressive experiment in a new way of living by architect Wells Coates, who was greatly influenced by Le Corbusier. The building soon attracted a great number of leftwing intellectuals and artists, and from 1935 no fewer than four Bauhaus teachers, among whom were Marcel Breuer and the very founder of the Bauhaus school; Walter Gropius.

Casa Bloc, Barcelona (1932-1939)
The apartment building was initiated by the Catalunya Government with the objective to create quality modern housing that met the basic standards of living for workers in need. Designed by architects Josep Lluís Sert, Josep Torres Clavé and Joan Baptista Subirana. Built using ideologies of the GATCPAC, one of these apartments has now been restored to its original state.

Van Eesteren Museum Apartment, Amsterdam (1952)
The apartment is located in Slotermeer, a typical post war suburb planned by Cornelis van Eesteren, member of the ‘De Stijl’ movement. Inspired by modernists Le Corbusier and Gropius, he developed in 1932 a plan to prepare Amsterdam for growth up to a million habitants. It had much influence on the discussion on modernism and functionalism in European architecture.

Polman House, Nagele (1956)
Nagele is the only 'flat-roof village' in the Netherlands and is an icon of the Dutch Nieuwe Bouwen style - the Dutch version of Modernist or Bauhaus architecture. It's also an early example of post-war social housing. For the first time, ordinary people could live in a semi-transparent house, designed by Lotte Stam-Beese and Ernest Groosman. In Polman House, the kitchen and living room were separated from one another by a partition wall made of glass, allowing the sun to shine right through.

Diagoonwoning, Delft (1971)
The Diagoonwoning, designed by Herman Hertzberger and built in a suburb of Delft, was originally intended to develop an entire residential area. Eight experimental homes were built as prototype. The house is conceived as a semi-finished product to give people more influence over the design of their own homes. It is to be completed and extended by the residents themselves.

Cube House, Rotterdam (1984)
The Cube House, also called pole house or tree house, is a design by Dutch architect Piet Blom. A tilted cube on a pole resembles an abstract tree. There are 38 dwellings (of 100m2) and two big cubes on top of a pedestrian bridge. Each house has three levels: storage and entrance hall in the pole; living/kitchen, bath/bedrooms and loft in the cube.

Posted 29 January 2019//updated 24 May 2021