Mackintosh’s Hill House Becomes an International Iconic House!

Historical Exhibition, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Painter, Conversation

Our Badge of Honour

Istanbul’s Modernist Ataköy Housing Estate is At Risk

Early Furniture Designs by Le Corbusier on Permanent Display in Maison Blanche

Photo Report City Icons Amsterdam

Healing Through Architecture

Reopening An Iconic Modernist Landmark

City Icons Kick Off with Talk by Linda Vlassenrood

MORE MIES - Pure Architecture in Haus Lange Haus Esters

Through a Bauhaus Lens: Edith Tudor-Hart and Isokon

Modernism Week Lecture: 10 Years of Iconic Houses

Aluminaire House Grand Opening

Exhibition Icons of the Czech Avant-Garde

An Elementalist and Mediterranean Architecture

Icon for Sale - Loos Villa: Haus Horner

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams Europe - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams North America - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

SPECIAL – Iconic Collective Housing

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

Public Screenings and Private Streaming of Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Winy Wants a World Wonder

Welcome Atelier Volten!

Sleep in a Modernist Gem – Huis Billiet in Bruges

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - 100 Years Van Zessen House

Exclusive Tour and Film Screening Package

The Last House Designed by Adolf Loos Will Be Built in Prague

Icons of the Czech Avantgarde

Icon for Sale - Casa Legorreta

Rietveld Day: 200 Enthusiasts Explored 3 Utrecht Icons

Hurray! 10 Years Iconic Houses

7th International Iconic Houses Conference A Huge Success

Meet Conference Co-Chair Iveta Černá

Meet Conference Co-Chair Maria Szadkowska

Eighteen Iconic Houses Under One Roof

17 June - 'Pioneers-film' Screening Amersfoort

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Eesteren House Museum

Welcome Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Zentrum in Vienna!

Welcome Vila Volman! Jewel of Czech Functionalism

Movie Night: Adolf Loos- Revolutionary Among Architects

'Inside Iconic Houses' Case Study House #26 Webcast in Webshop

Inside Iconic Houses at Taut’s Home in Berlin

Rediscovering Forgotten Loos Interiors in Pilsen

'Inside Iconic Houses' - Online Tour Program

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - The Diagoon House

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Rietveld Schröder House

Rietveld Houses Owners Association

Corberó Space: New Life for Hidden Jewel

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Pierre Cuypers' House and Workshops

Reeuwijk Celebrates Completion of Restoration Rietveld Homes!

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Doesburg Rinsema House

Welcome Rietveld's Van Daalen House!

Architect Harry Gessner Passed Away at 97

Watch Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Now On Demand

Icon Saved: Dorchester Drive House

Welcome Umbrella House!

Iconic Houses in the Netherlands – Berlage’s Masterpiece

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

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

Hans van Heeswijk on The Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Wessel de Jonge on Dutch Icons at Risk

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

Sponsors and Friends

An Afternoon with the Glucks

Chandler McCoy on Making Modern Houses Sustainable

Catherine Croft: Getting Away from the Demolition Mentality in the UK

Patrick Weber on Discovering an Unknown Icon

Fiona Fisher on Iconic Interiors

Jocelyn Bouraly on Villa Cavrois

Mireia Massagué on finding success through a new kind of partnership

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

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

Conference testimonials

House Tours May 2018 

Expert Meetings

Natascha Drabbe - Iconic Houses: The Next Chapter

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Hilary Lewis on Philip Johnson and his Glass House

John Arbuckle on Great House Tours

William D. Earls on the Harvard Five in New Canaan

Stover Jenkins on Working for Philip Johnson

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

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

Maintaining Aalto's Studio – Linoleum Conservation

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

Plečnik House in Ljubljana

Iconic Dacha

Iconic Houses: A Bohemian Road Trip

Work in Progress: Capricho de Gaudí

11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List

At home with Le Corbusier

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

Meet the Friends - James Haefner

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

Keeping It Modern - Getty Conservation Grants

Meet the Friends - Thomas Schönauer

Wim de Wit, Stanford University

Linda Dishman, Los Angeles Conservancy

Jesse Lattig, Pasadena Heritage

Join us in Los Angeles! Update

Work in Progress: Casa Vicens

Work in Progress: Van Wassenhove House

Work in Progress: Villa Cavrois

Work in Progress: The Pearlroth House

Conference calls!

Follow us!

Third Iconic Houses Conference a huge success

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

Lynda Waggoner, Fallingwater

Kimberli Meyer, MAK Center

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

Taut's Home wins Europa Nostra Award

Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen

Message from the Editor

Neutra’s House on Screen

Michel Richard, Fondation Le Corbusier

Symposium The Public and the Modern House

Melnikov House on Screen

Iconic Houses in the media

Message from the Editor

Round Table Review

Eileen Gray House on Screen

Copy Culture

At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

Philippe Bélaval, Centre des monuments nationaux

Posted February 11, 2020, updated May 16, 2023

Villa Henny, geometric style icon in The Netherlands

  • The grey plinths, stress the horizontality and geometric design of the whitewashed concrete house.
  • Originally there was a pond where now the swimming pool is located.
  • The symmetrical interplay of lines is carried forward in the ceiling.
  • The east and west façade feature a series of eight colonnaded windows that are slightly projected beyond the first floor.
  • Just as in Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, the fireplace is centrally positioned.
  • The grey plinths, stress the horizontality and geometric design of the whitewashed concrete house.
  • Originally there was a pond where now the swimming pool is located.
  • The symmetrical interplay of lines is carried forward in the ceiling.
  • The east and west façade feature a series of eight colonnaded windows that are slightly projected beyond the first floor.
  • Just as in Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs, the fireplace is centrally positioned.

Photos: Friso Keuris

Villa Henny is a style icon of 20th-century Dutch architecture: 100 years after it was built the concrete design is still solid as a rock. As soon as the long time owners, Jap-A-Joe family, saw the ‘For Sale’ sign in the garden in 1979, they were sold, and so was the house. Villa Henny was on the market again in 2020 with the aim to find the right buyer for the house and the house was sold in 2022.

The current owners, the Jap-A-Joe family, bought the house in 1979. 

House of Concrete
The development of new architectural styles and building materials brought about radical changes in early 20th-century Dutch architecture. The detached villa by Robert van ’t Hoff in the village of Huis ter Heide in the province of Utrecht is an outstanding example and a landmark of modern architecture. With its geometrical design, its white-plastered concrete, grey plinths and cantilevered flat roof, the house attracted attention already while it was being built in 1915. Van ’t Hoff designed the house, also known as the concrete villa, for the Amsterdam businessman A.B. Henny in 1914. It was the first time that a concrete frame construction was used in a residential building. “It was very revolutionary at the time. There was little experience of working with this technique, which is why the first frame actually collapsed,” says Rob Driessen, an expert and surveyor in the field of applied art and design in the period after 1900.

Frank Lloyd Wright
Van ’t Hoff’s design for Villa Henny – with its overlapping rectangular building volumes and repetitive patterns – was inspired by the Prairie Houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect who also influenced architects like Berlage. Around 1910, the Dutch architecture scene was dazzled by Wright’s modern country houses, with their lightly sloping cantilevered roofs and geometric proportions that accentuated the building’s horizontality through an uninterrupted interplay of lines.
In 1914, Van ’t Hoff travelled through the United States to visit Wright’s work and meet the American architect in person. Wright had a strong influence on the young Dutchman. In Villa Henny, Van ‘t Hoff combined Wright’s style with revolutionary construction techniques. Unlike Wright, who preferred natural locally sourced materials, he used concrete. This distinguishes Villa Henny as an original design that is certainly not a copy.
The concrete house is quite unique and hard to classify in the history of modern architecture. Henny is often associated with De Stijl but the house was already under construction when the group was founded in 1917 by the artist Theo van Doesburg. “It would be easy to mistake it for a design that emanated from De Stijl, because Van ‘t Hoff was a member of this group from 1917 to 1919,” says Driessen. “Van ’t Hoff was initially attracted to De Stijl because of its ideal of achieving a synthesis of the arts: the idea that all art forms should meld into a new all-encompassing aesthetic. But Van ’t Hoff wanted equality in art as well as in society. During the construction of Villa Henny, he was up on the scaffolds with the builders and the contractor. He didn’t want any masters and servants anymore. De Stijl didn’t have such a pronounced political agenda and that is why Van ’t Hoff eventually distanced himself from the movement.”
Villa Henny is cubism rather than modernism. “The basic form is still largely symmetrical and massive,” says Driessen. “The form and layout of the plan reveal a clear affinity with Wright and his so-called prairie style. The house that Rietveld built less than ten years later for Truus Schröder is infinitely more radical: it is more open and free. But Van ’t Hoff’s design undoubtedly made a great impression on Rietveld and the other members of De Stijl. It was an important step in the development of what was later to be called the Nieuwe Bouwen movement.

‘Van ’t Hoff’s design for Villa Henny was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Houses’

The current inhabitants, the Jap-A-Joe family, have by now grown used to the visits from students, teachers and researchers from the Netherlands and abroad who want to view the house. When they saw the villa up for sale in 1979, they had no idea who the architect was. “You don’t realize that you’re going to be living in a famous design beforehand,” says Kenneth Jap-A-Joe. “When we were looking for a place in this area, this house immediately caught our attention because of its general feel. The atmosphere is not Dutch, but rather American and tropical. I was sold even before I stepped inside. It’s an evergreen and, what’s more, a wonderful house to live in. It’s spacious yet intimate. My favourite space is the veranda; you feel like you’re outside.”
Inside, the house is practically in its original state, except for a few alterations that the previous owner asked Rietveld to introduce – and which are said to have infuriated Van ’t Hoff. The original fire-guard and the grating in the drinks cabinet beside it – both with the same pattern – have also been preserved. Van ’t Hoff designed them especially for this house in which the fireplace lies at the centre of the floorplan. Jap-A-Joe: “Originally there was a pond in the garden, but the previous owners replaced it with a swimming pool made of white concrete with strong grey lines, so that it is in keeping with the style of the house.”
The name Van ’t Hoff definitely belongs in the list with Hendrik Berlage, Willem Dudok, Gerrit Rietveld and other iconic 20th-century Dutch architects. But Van ’t Hoff has gone down in history as an illustrious and mysterious figure: driven and socially engaged, but also disillusioned. He designed just a few houses, of which Villa Henny is the most important example: it is featured in almost all reference works. There is no photo of the architect himself, which is somehow what one might expect of him. After ending his architectural career prematurely, he sank into obscurity. The young communist was unable to make concessions and was therefore never able to apply his ideals in the real world. He signed the letter that he wrote to Van Doesburg in 1927 on the occasion of the ten-year anniversary of the magazine De Stijl with the title “ex-architect”. In his writings, he explained why he never designed anything after his early work: “The time was not yet ripe for a new society without property.”

‘In his writings, the “ex-architect” explained why he never designed anything after his early work’

Social Equality
The promising and talented Van ’t Hoff moved to the United Kingdom with his family in 1922 where he settled for good in 1937. Here he continued to encourage social equality, though no longer through architecture. Van ’t Hoff had lived in the UK before, when he trained as an architect. During his studies he had already shown an interest in the social significance of architecture and alternative social forms of living. He designed two buildings during this period that were built in the Netherlands between 1911 and 1913: the model farm De Zaaier and Villa Løvdalla in Huis ter Heide for his parents. Shortly after World War II, Van ’t Hoff briefly returned to architecture, mainly because of the idealistic nature of the assignment. He designed a commune in Conventry, an industrial town in the Midlands that had been heavily bombed. It was to be his last design.

The garage, also designed by Van ’t Hoff. 
The staircase with its flat railing accentuates the rectangular contours. 

The house has an almost entirely symmetrical floorplan in which the main axis of the ground floor lies perpendicular to that of the first floor. Just as in Wright’s designs, the fireplace is centrally positioned and the remaining spaces are laid out around the central staircase. With its flat railing that accentuates the rectangular contours, the staircase is also strongly reminiscent of Wright.

This article by Aya Langeveld was previously published in Vernis Magazine #10 in 2016. We thank Aya and photographer Friso Keuris for allowing us to publish it here again.

Posted February 11, 2020, updated May 16, 2023