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Modern House Museums Begin to Cautiously Reopen
We are pleased that many of the modern house museums on our map have taken big steps towards reopening as the measures against Covid-19 are gradually relaxed. However, the new conditions vary greatly according to region and local risk. This means that spontaneous visits to house museums are a thing of the past for now. We advise you check carefully before you visit - in many cases visiting is only possible with an online reservation.

MORE 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. Today, we feature three of the 30 Icons at Risk, Saved and Demolished, that we have listed so far. More will be added every month and we will keep you updated on our progress in this newsletter and on our social media.

Sound the alarm!

Do you know an icon at risk? Send us an alert! Download the Alert Form HERE.
Do note that the Iconic Houses Network focuses on significant residential heritage from the 20th-century. Thanks for your help!
The Haus Am Horn is the only building designed and constructed by the Bauhaus in Weimar. This model house was built for the 1923 Bauhaus exhibition. It provided an opportunity for the Bauhaus masters and students to present their visions of modern living for the first time. In 1996, the building was inscribed as part of the Unesco World Heritage Site now called the Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau.
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Many modern house museums offer online tours as a temporary substitute for real visits. Our new member Haus am Horn gave a 20 minute live walk-through on Instagram #Stayathome, then turned it into a video for YouTube. The Adolf Loos-designed Villa Winternitz offers a 20-minute tour, or spend a shorter time at the Museo Chilida Leku. On Instagram, Fallingwater exchanged video tours with other Frank Lloyd Wright Houses.
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Many museums have set up webshops to generate some income during lockdown. Support them and buy all your gifts for the rest of the year: choose from books, bags, architectural models, vases, maps, posters, plates, mugs and postcards. Find the perfect gifts for friends and relatives or - why not? - even yourself! You'll be helping our museums survive these hard times so we can enjoy them for years to come.
ICON AT RISK: Nakagin Capsule Tower - Kisho Kurokawa
The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building is a Tokyo icon and a highlight of the Japanese Metabolism architectural movement. Today, the tower is a shadow of its formerly futuristic self. About 30 of the 140 apartments have been abandoned, some uninhabitable because of leaks and mildew. The structure is asbestos-ridden, threatened with demolition, and covered with a sad-looking net to protect pedestrians from falling debris.
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SAVED HOMES: Housing Project - Gerrit Rietveld
In 2017, the housing association that owns 52 Rietveld homes in Reeuwijk, the Netherlands, wanted to demolish 46 of them. Residents and Cuypers Society, a Dutch national monument organization, did their utmost to save them. After many debates and several studies, it was decided in December 2019 to retain the houses for 25 years on the basis of a regular budget for major maintenance and improvement.
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DEMOLISHED ICON: Bavinger House - Bruce Goff
The Bavinger House in Norman, Oklahoma, (USA, 1955), was a significant example of organic architecture. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, it was removed in 2017 after being demolished the previous year. The house was built by artists Nancy and Eugene Bavinger from local sandstone and had a spiral form, a spire and no internal walls. It was damaged by a storm in 2011, and in 2016 was mysteriously lost forever.
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MENDINI IN AMSTERDAM - An Unexpected Discovery
Italian designer Alessandro Mendini (1931-2019) and Frans Haks (1938-2006), previous director of the Groninger Museum, shared a special bond. Few people know that Mendini also designed the interior of Haks’ home in Amsterdam. It was discovered after Haks passed away. Mendini interiors are rare, and this is the only one in the Netherlands. Here's the story of the house.
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ICONS FOR SALE - Villa Henny
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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The Iconic Houses Foundation, like many non-profits, is in a precarious position due to Covid-19. Please donate so we can continue to help modern house museums recover from this crisis, and to raise awareness about the emerging heritage of the 20th century. If you cannot donate in these uncertain times, there are other ways to help. Advocate for us by sharing our mission with family or friends. Even a quick social media mention would mean the world to us.
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We want to reach 10K followers on Instagram! Please follow us and tag a friend. Iconic Houses is still bringing iconic inspiration on your favourite channels, so be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for even more peeks behind the scenes.
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