Sleep in a Modernist Gem – Huis Billiet in Bruges

Icons of the Czech Avantgarde

7th International Iconic Houses Conference

Hurray! 10 Years Iconic Houses

Icon for Sale - Casa Legorreta

Meet Conference Co-Chair Iveta Černá

17 June - 'Pioneers-film' Screening Amersfoort

Meet Conference Co-Chair Maria Szadkowska

Eighteen Iconic Houses Under One Roof

2023 Tour Schedule - Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Screenings

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

Welcome Atelier Volten!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

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

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

Our Badge of Honour

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

SPECIAL – Iconic Housing

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

Publication date 25 July 2022

Architect Harry Gessner Passed Away at 97

The architect Harry Gesner on the deck of his most famous building, the Wave House, which sits on the beach of a secluded cove in Malibu, California. Photo Steven Lippman. 

On June 10, architect Harry Gesner passed away at his home, the Sandcastle in Malibu, California. He was 97. The New York Times obituary describes him as “the dashing, surf-loving architect whose soaring designs celebrated California’s dramatic landscape in houses that straddled canyons, perched over beaches, and cantilevered from cliffs."

Boat Houses
Anyone who has ever taken a road trip in California or house-hunted in Los Angeles, has most likely passed the remarkable Gesner-designed Boat Houses in Hollywood. Completed in 1959, they perch on the hillside above Cahuenga Pass along Pacific View Drive and Woodrow Wilson Drive. Gesner hired Norwegian shipbuilders to help construct the small, quirky, boat-shaped residences that cantilever out over a steep slope in the Hollywood Hills. Angelinos know these landmarks, yet hardly anyone knows the name of the architect.

Boat Houses in the Cahuenga Pass, Los Angeles, Harry Gesner, 1959. Photo Cody James. 

I was already intrigued by these creations, but only found out that Harry Gesner had designed them when I started preparing our conference in 2015 with Susan Macdonald, our partner at the Getty Conservation Institute. Susan suggested we hold the VIP Reception at the Getty's Trustee House. Originally called Scantlin Villa, built in 1965, this house was now only used by scholars on very special occasions. During the period when the mega project for the Getty Museum was in full swing, the villa was not demolished but preserved at the request of architect Richard Meier.

Harry Gesner was our Guest of Honour at the 4th International Iconic Houses Conference at the Getty Center in Los Angeles in 2016.

Harry Gesner – in conversation Trudi Sandmeier, Director, Graduate Programs in Heritage Conservation and Associate Professor of Practice at USC Architecture. 

"The challenge is what is exciting in architecture"
I wanted to see the house first to avoid disappointing our guests because with Iconic Houses the bar is naturally quite high. It certainly passed the test! It turned out that its architect was still alive (born 1925), but he did not have a website and it was not easy to find him. In the end, I managed to get in touch with him through a project partner. Self-promotion is of course very important if you are an architect, but Harry preferred surfing and despite the lack of PR he has managed to realize an impressive portfolio of unique and eccentric houses in and around LA. You can read about this in the bold book Houses of the Sundown Sea: The Architectural Vision of Harry Gesner.

In his first e-mail, dated 1 May 2015, he introduced himself to me with these words:
“I used to surf every day at sunset and commune with nature and the setting Sun. Summer & Winter, Spring and Fall. The Sun is my surrogate God. Our solar system revolves around it and it’s our source of all living things. Makes living much more simple and less religious bickering and wars about worshiping different gods. Being brought up a Catholic really turned me off of the formal religion business. I better change the subject before you think I’m a total nut case.
I just spent a couple of hours on your web site. You have quite a thing going with the Iconic homes. There are many more than I ever thought existed. My architectural education centered around my work and learning the trades. Not studying other people’s work as taught in schools. I’m a totally self-taught Licensed Architect! I somehow slipped through the cracks and convinced them by my works that I was legitimate! Common sense must have played a part too.”

Breaking New Grounds
My first meeting at his house was immediately fun: we were picked up by a golf cart that took us down the steep slope from the driveway to the house. And there I met a completely authentic 91-year-old man. A born storyteller, whose great love Nan Martin always came up in conversation. And his love for the ocean, the sun, and surfing, which was contagious. Plus his experience of World war II, whic made him promise himself to make something of his life and not waste it. Not to mention how to use our natural resources to save the planet -the walls in his kitchen were made from reused aqueduct pipes, redwood from the 1800s- and his concern for the preservation of the earth and his initiatives to make a positive contribution.

We have documented some interesting conversations and beautiful moments with Harry. By watching them you’ll also get to know him.
"I like the impossible" he said, and that's what I liked so much about Harry.
I'll miss Harry and his maverick spirit.
Natascha Drabbe

The Sandcastle in Malibu, Harry Gesner's own house. Photos: Natascha Drabbe. 

In Iconic Perspectives: Harry Gesner’s Sandcastle, our media partner Dwell documented Harry Gesner and his Sandcastle in a fantastic way.

DWELL Iconic Homes: The Sandcastle by Harry Gesner. 

Jim Cuno, President, and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust in conversation with architect Harry Gesner, at the Gesner-designed Scantlin House (1965) on the current Getty Hill, which is now known as the Getty's Trustee House. Prior to the 4th International Iconic Houses Conference at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, 17-19 February 2016.

Q&A between Jim Cuno and Harry Gesner. 

In advance of the Iconic Houses Conference at the Getty, the visionary architect talked about his legacy and his current and future architectural plans to Jane Szita, in her blog of 4 February 2016: Modernism’s Maverick: A Conversation with Harry Gesner.

Publication date 25 July 2022