Vanaf vandaag wordt het leven makkelijker voor liefhebbers van huizen uit de 20e eeuw, door de nieuwe website iconichouses.org.
De Iconic Houses website heeft een handige interface en bevat veel beroemde, moderne huizen van over de hele wereld. Een groot deel van deze huizen zijn ook toegankelijk voor bezoekers of bieden zelfs slaapplaatsen aan voor gasten. Binnenkort zal er naast de website ook een app beschikbaar zijn voor de iPhone en iPad.
The website is the initiative of Natascha Drabbe, architectural historian and owner and curator of the Van Schijndel House in the Netherlands. Finding herself in charge of an iconic home, she set out to find out about others. Her research led to the formation of the Iconic Houses Network, a group of modern house museum curators dedicated to preserving significant houses and sharing knowledge and expertise, and to the launch of the site. “No resource existed before to help people locate and visit these unique houses,” says Drabbe. “Now, if you’re visiting Paris, for example, our site allows you to see that you’re close to the only house Alvar Aalto built outside Finland. This information wasn’t so easy to come by before.”
IconicHouses.org lists a hundred landmark houses from the 20th century by location, together with background information on their creators and related news stories. A high number of new submissions is expected, and to deal with these the network has developed stringent selection criteria. “We only want to list the best of the bunch,” Drabbe says. The best include the unmissable big names like Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Schindler House, the Alvar Aalto House and Unesco-listed Villa Tugendhat by Mies van der Rohe, but visitors to IconicHouses.org can also discover hidden gems, such as Geoffrey Bawa’s Colombo residence in Sri Lanka, where visitors can also stay overnight.
By linking travel and 20th century houses, the Iconic Houses Network hopes that the new site will increase not only visitor numbers, but also the awareness of the difficulty of what Natascha Drabbe calls, ‘keeping these houses alive’ in times of scarce funding, understaffing and even, sometimes, the threat of demolition. “Experiencing the houses is the most important thing,” she says. “The Iconic Houses site wants to ensure that people can continue to do that.”