Sleep in a Modernist Gem – Huis Billiet in Bruges

Rietveld Day: 200 Enthusiasts Explored 3 Utrecht Icons

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - 100 Years Van Zessen House

The Last House Designed by Adolf Loos Will Be Built in Prague

Icons of the Czech Avantgarde

Icon for Sale - Casa Legorreta

Hurray! 10 Years Iconic Houses

7th International Iconic Houses Conference A Huge Success

Screenings 7 and 22 Oct. - Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

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

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

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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

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New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

Philippe Bélaval, Centre des monuments nationaux

Publication date 20 July 2022

Corberó Space: New Life for Hidden Jewel

Visit of the Corberó Space. From left to right: Natascha Drabbe, Corberó’s widow Maria Dolores Rica, Silvia Vilarroya and Marga Viza.

There are those magical places, that have been on my wishlist for years and that you are so grateful for if you ever get the opportunity to visit them. One of those places is the Espai Corberó, the Corberó Space, near Barcelona. In October 2021, Maria Dolores Rica, the widow of Xavier Corberó, was so kind as to give me the opportunity to experience Corberó’s life's work with two of our valued members of the network, Marga Viza, Director of Culture at La Pedrera and Silvia Vilarroya, the Curator of La Pedrera.

Impressed by what we discovered there, we immediately became concerned about the future of this unique creation: who will ensure its preservation to be enjoyed by new generations? Now, with the purchase of Espai Corberó by the Municipality of Esplugues de Llobregat, there is a prospect of a sustainable future. Read below the article about these latest developments in La Vanguardia.
Natascha Drabbe
Executive Director and Founder of the Iconic Houses Network

The Work of a Lifetime

Text: Teresa Sesé
La Vanguardia, Barcelona, 18/07/2022

The Espai Corberó (Corberó Space) is immersed in the old town of Esplugues de Llobregat. A surreal and labyrinthine place in which he began to work in 1968 and was obsessed with it until his death in 2017. La Vanguardia archive. 

New Life for Corberó Space, the Hidden Jewel of Esplugues de Llobregat

City Council finalized a 2.9 million euros purchase and will turn it into a cultural facility, open to the public!

In the medieval heart of Esplugues de Llobregat, Xavier Corberó (1935-2017) began to build in 1968 what would be the great work of his life. An epic project that was born with the purchase of a country house, Can Cargol, as a place to live and work, and a refuge for other artists, to which over the course of five decades another eight buildings would be added, with their labyrinthine rooms, stairs that recall the impossible architectures of Escher, ponds, gardens, patios with cement arcades at various heights and a forest inhabited by characters in stone and bronze.

The Space XC, where Corberó invested everything he was earning and on which he continued to work obsessively when he died at the age of 81, is today an authentic inhabitable sculpture, a total and almost secret work even though in recent times it has become place of pilgrimage for film shoots and fashion shows. But its destiny is about to take a 180-degree turn. The City Council of Esplugues de Llobregat finalizes the purchase of part of the complex to give it a new life as a cultural facility open to the public.

The sculptor Xavier Corberó Albert Santamaría. Photo: La Vanguardia archive. 

As La Vanguardia has been able to learn, the operation is well advanced and could be finalized in the coming weeks, only missing some administrative procedures related to its status as a cultural asset of local interest included in the Inventory of the Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. Last May, the plenary session of the City Council chaired by the socialist mayor Pilar Díaz approved a budget increase of 2.9 million euros to be able to deal with the acquisition. Currently, the only tenant of the complex is the artist's widow, Maria Dolores Rica, who is also in charge of preserving Corberó's legacy.

The space occupies a plot of 2,055 square meters archive. Photo: La Vanguardia archive. 

The Corberó Space, built around the old Casa dels Cecs and linked to his own residence, workshop, and museum, consists of 1,995 square meters built on a 2,055-meter plot. It basically consists of a lateral body built on the ground floor perpendicular to Calle Iglesia, various patios, water reservoirs and an underground auditorium with capacity for between 250 and 300 people. This last space, of about 700 square metres, has an open floor plan with a vaulted ceiling and no supporting columns, which gives it great architectural interest due to the uniqueness of its structure and composition.

The space has 2,000 square meters built and an underground auditorium

Inside the plot, between two patios, another building is built based on reinforced concrete slabs and semi-circular arches that form a series of rooms and open or semi-closed terraces at different heights. The complex also includes around thirty sculptures that would become municipal property, adding to those already in various spaces in Esplugues de Llobregat such as Samurai, La família or Trobada.

Xavier Corberó lived a large part of his life abroad (Switzerland, the United Kingdom and New York), although Esplugues was his definitive home. With work in more than 30 museums around the world, including the MOMA in New York, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam or the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, he said that when he turned 19, he went to a notary public to formally disinherit himself, because he considered that he needed to start from scratch if he wanted to dedicate himself to art one hundred percent. Influenced by the ideas of the Bauhaus, in 1972 he created, together with his residence in Esplugues, the Center for Artistic Activities and Research of Catalonia (CAIAC), a residence for artists and artisan workshops that permanently welcomed a group of creators of various specialties. Among them, the one who was his partner, the jewellery designer Elsa Peretti.

Photo: La Vanguardia archive. 

'The drama of art schools is that the only possible way out for their students is genius. And a genius only happens very rarely. In our centre it is possible that geniuses will come out, but at least it is certain that good professionals will come out who will be able to earn a decent living', Corberó explained to Soledad Balaguer in an interview published in La Vanguardia shortly after the opening of the centre. For this purpose, the sculptor had been acquiring various orchards and farmhouses located next to what was already his residence on Montserrat street. And the company was not proving to be easy at all: 'My long hair, my gypsy appearance and above all, saying that I am a sculptor, does not exactly make it easy for me to request a loan from a bank, to do something so totally chimerical'.

Although its use has not yet been defined, the will is to turn it into a cultural centre open to the public

Corberó mortgaged himself many times to carry out that colossal work that in recent years, and despite leaving it unfinished, he described as ‘a miracle’. Since his disappearance, the artist died in 2017, his widow has maintained the house by renting it for events and advertising campaigns. Woody Allen chose it as the workshop for the painter who is the protagonist of the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, played by Javier Bardem, and it has hosted the 080 catwalk shows.

Parade of the 080 catwalk at the Espai Xavier Corberó. Photo: Gaspar J. Ruiz Lindberg. 

The artist, who designed the medals for the Olympic Games, played a decisive role in the public sculpture plan promoted by the Cultural Olympiad, advising Mayor Pasqual Maragall and making it easier for Barcelona to have works by artists such as Lichtenstein, Richard Serra, Botero, Anthony Caro or Claes Oldenburg, among others.

This article was published in La Vanguardia on 18-07-2022.

Watch Xavier Corberó in this video in the Nowness series In Residence.

Publication date 20 July 2022