|NEW! ICONS AT RISK: How to Save Endangered Icons for the Future|
|Alongside the Iconic House museums that you know and love, ICONS AT RISK is our new initiative to preserve the world’s most endangered architecturally important modern houses. The project is the culmination of two years of intensive work. In today's special, we feature a selection of the 23 Icons at Risk that we have so far listed on our website. More will be added every month. With many, especially those from the second half of the 20th century, in danger of being lost because they are not yet recognized as ‘heritage’, we need to act now. So how to save them? Icons at Risk sets out to raise public awareness and support house owners to take action. We will keep you updated on our progress on our website and in this newsletter.|
ICONS AT RISK is an initiative of the Iconic Houses Foundation.
The Steering Committee members are:
- Natascha Drabbe, architectural historian and Executive Director/Founder Iconic Houses Network, Netherlands
- Fiona Fisher, Curator, Dorich House Museum/Researcher, Kingston School of Art, Kingston University, United Kingdom
- Janice Lyle, Director Sunnylands Center and Gardens, USA
- Chandler McCoy, Senior Project Specialist, Getty Conservation Institute, USA
Thanks to Kristen Munchheimer, Graduate Intern (2018-2019), Getty Conservation Institute, and Moriah Schnose, Administrative Coordinator for Retreats at Sunnylands, for their invaluable research. The Casa Sperimentale content is based on groundbreaking research by Patrick Weber and Sabine Storp, both of the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL London, as part of their student programme.
Sound the alarm!
Do you know an icon at risk? Send us an alert! Download the Alert Form HERE.
Thanks for your help!
|ICON AT RISK: CASA SPERIMENTALE - Giuseppe Perugini|
|Mysterious Casa Sperimentale (also known as Casa Albero, the 'treehouse') was built between 1968 and 1975 as an experimental villa for weekend use. Its architect, Giuseppe Perugini, was among the first to explore the application of the language of computer programming to building design. The original design is unaltered, but the building is abandoned, has sustained damage in recent years and is now structurally at risk.|
|DEMOLISHED ICON: LARGENT HOUSE - Richard Neutra|
|The Lydia Fuller Largent House in San Francisco was designed in 1935 by Richard Neutra. In 2017, the house was sold to a new owner who, without a valid permit, destroyed it early in 2018. The owner was then ordered to rebuild it by the Planning Commission - starting a debate between those who say the punishment fits the crime, and those who call it a Disneyesque response that Neutra would have hated.|
|SAVED ICON: VILLA CAVROIS - Robert Mallet-Stevens|
|In the early 1990s, Villa Cavrois' real-state company owners wanted to demolish it. Admirers of the villa founded a preservation group, bringing it to the government’s attention. In 1990, the house was protected from demolition – but was abandoned by its owners to neglect. Finally, the state bought Villa Cavrois and renovation followed. In 2015, it opened to the public with great success, recording 150,000 visitors every year.|
|AT RISK: LA RICARDA - Antonio Bonet Castellana|
|The Gomis House (better known as La Ricarda), is the most emblematic example of rationalist architecture in Catalonia. It still belongs to the Gomis Bertrand family, who want to preserve it in its original state. But it is in danger. In the 1950s, Barcelona Airport was small and far away. Now the airport’s third runway is no more than 400 metres from the house. Pollution is having an effect, and urban expansion is engulfing the surrounding nature.|
|DEMOLISHED: STEIMEL HAUS - Oswald Mathias Ungers|
|A sad example of how things can go wrong is the illegally demolished Steimel House in Hennef, Germany. One of Ungers’ early pioneering works, the house was built in 1961-62 as a unified garden and house. At the request of the young clients, Ungers created a place of seclusion; all rooms opened to an inner courtyard. Now this work has been almost completely demolished - without the permission of the municipality.|
|SAVED: VILLA E-1027 - Eileen Gray|
|The villa was in a degraded condition when it was acquired by the Conservatoire du Littoral, a French coastline conservation body, in 1999. Launched in 2015, the restoration project has unfolded for six months at a time from October to April each year; in the summer, the villa remains open to visitors. The French Centre of National Monuments manages the visits and will take over the site in 2020 once the final renovations are completed.|
|ICONS FOR SALE - launched last month|
|Villa Henny is an icon of 20th-century Dutch architecture, and 100 years after it was built, the concrete design is still as solid as a rock. When the current owners saw the ‘For Sale’ sign in the garden in 1979, they were sold, and so was the house! After raising their children here and spending 40 happy years in this special place, they are putting the house up for sale - so a new owner will get the chance to live in this architectural gem!|
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