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 October 14, 2022

Welcome Vila Volman! Jewel of Czech Functionalism

Josef Volman was a factory owner and patron, who first envisioned this impressive villa in a large park above the romantic landscape of the Elbe River in Čelákovice, 20 km east of Prague in the Czech Republic. Vila Volman is one of the most beautiful and expensive residences of the interwar period, designed for him in 1938-1939 by the young avant-garde architects Karel Janů and Jiří Štursa. The magnificent grounds of the villa are an excellent example of modern housing of the interwar period, incorporating the best of Czech functionalism and architecture, and the ideas of Le Corbusier, who was a great inspiration and role-model for these architects.

The Authors
The leading creators of the Czech interwar avant-garde, the left-leaning Jiří Štursa (1910 - 1995) and Karel Janů (1910 - 1995) were already actively involved in architectural circles during their studies at the Czech Technical University. In 1931 they founded the PAS Working Architectural Group together with Jiří Voženílek. As Karel Teige's pupils, active supporters of the scientific approach to architecture, they were also great admirers of Le Corbusier. In the second half of the 1930’s they extended the rational scientific approach to the requirements of the human soul. In addition to the scientific, they acknowledged the psychological function of architecture, aided by Freud's psychoanalysis and surrealism. Emotional and artistic elements gradually began to assert themselves in their designs. The Volman Villa is the culmination of this period (1938-1939) and the most famous joint realization of these architects. A monumental building that the architects did not claim as their design after the communist takeover.
Professor Jiří Štursa taught at the Faculty of Architecture from 1948, where he influenced the next generation of architectural artists and theoreticians with his long-standing influence. Together with his wife Vlasta Štursová, he created the plinth with stairs and terraces for the large Prague Stalin monument by Otakar Švec in the 1950’s. Professor Karel Janů was employed at the Faculty of Civil Engineering where he worked continuously on the concept of industrialisation of the building industry, eventually leading to his invention of the so-called apartment core.

The Volman Villa is a unique edifice of interwar modernism and a deliberate homage to Le Corbusier. It represents the culmination of the ideas of modern architecture and is even more valuable because it represents a synthesis of various currents of European modernism. It shows how its creators knew the European trends very well and managed to process them into an exceptional building. Its unique artistic concept and the use of distinctive colours place the villa in the stream of sensual functionalism.
The generous structure may seem to resemble an overseas steamer monumentally anchored on the horizon of the slope above the Elbe River. Sharp lines alternate with curved walls and organic details. Sleek, smooth surfaces contrast with traditional stonework and travertine cladding. The interior is a rich mosaic of luxurious materials; the villa features multiple types of marble, chrome details and exotic woods.

Extended terraces evoke captain's bridges and connect the house with the surrounding park at different levels, both functionally and aesthetically. In every season they offer different, but always breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape and park. The roof terrace with windbreaks and flowerbeds or the circular stone roundabout of the main entrance are other original features by which the Volman Villa is easily remembered.

Josef Volman
Josef Volman (1883-1943), the founder of a machine tool factory in Čelákovice, was a successful entrepreneur of the First Republic of Czechoslovakia. He was able to extend his success and prosperity to the whole region and contributed significantly to the development and growth of Čelákovice. The progressive-minded Volman settled in Čelákovice in 1910 after returning from a study stay in the USA. After the First World War, his plant grew rapidly and gradually established itself not only in Czechoslovakia but also on the world engineering market for modern machine tools. Volman's company was one of the world's most important manufacturers and exporters of machine tools, trading in more than 30 countries. Unfortunately, he died prematurely in 1943 so the management of the plant was taken over by his daughter Ludmila and her husband Jiří Růžek. Josef Volman also had a great sense of social responsibility. Throughout his life, he devoted his energy and finances to several social projects and to providing for his employees. He intensively addressed the issue of employee housing, built a colony of tenement houses, built the Volman Sports Club, and generously supported social life in the region. During the Second World War, he supported the domestic and foreign resistance both financially and materially.

History of the Villa
Volman's decision to build a luxurious modern villa as part of the whole compound on the northwestern outskirts of Čelákovice dates to 1937. The actual construction took place in 1938-1939, when he and his daughter Ludmila moved into the villa. After the forced departure of the family after the communist takeover in 1948, the whole area was acquired by the TOS Čelákovice national enterprise – his former factory. The building was used for various celebrations, cultural and social events, and from 1952 to 1990 as a kindergarten for the children of the employees of the national enterprise. The entire compound was entered into the Central List of Immovable Cultural Monuments in 1979, and between 1980 and 1982, the villa was renovated, which, however, proved counterproductive in terms of preserving the original quality of the interiors. After 1990, because of restitution proceedings, the house was not used and fell into such irreparable ruin that the north wing was threatened with demolition. All equipment, including installations and furnishings, disappeared from the building. A cultural monument of world importance fell victim to looting and vandalism. In 1996, the villa was bought by a group of entrepreneurs from Čelákovice, who became investors in an extraordinary reconstruction project aimed at restoring it to its original glory. The continuation of Volman's engineering tradition was responsible for the restoration of the original factory and the presentation of its extraordinary architectural qualities.
The restoration project was entrusted to TAK Architects and the team, led by architect Marek Tichý, began a demanding reconstruction phase lasting until 2018. This project was awarded the Jury Prize for the sensitive reconstruction of a devastated monument in the 2016 Building of the Year competition. The monograph "Volman's Villa - A Jewel of Interwar Architecture" was published in 2020 (authors: Jolana Tothová, Marek Tichý, Radomíra Sedláková, Magdalena Kurfürstová; published by Argo), and documents more than fifteen years of various efforts connected with the restoration and reconstruction of the villa.

In September 2022, Villa Volman joined the ICONIC HOUSES network and opened to visitors.

Vila Volman is a new member of the Iconic Houses global network, a prestigious international group of modern house museums, connecting architecturally significant 20th century houses and artists’ studios that are open to the public. It is now included among the world's modernist icons and represents the Czech Republic with 10 other Czech member museums, on the map of modern residential architecture.

Posted October 14, 2022