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Modernist Architecture

Author winterkjm
#1 | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 03:55 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Modernist Nominations (2022)
- Modernist Kaunas: Architecture of Optimism, 1919-1939 (Lithuania)
- The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Head Office and Garden (Portugal)

Additional Tentative Nominations: The Architectural Works of Alvar Aalto (Finland), Derzhprom (Ukraine), Modernist Centre of Gdynia (Poland), 20th Century Modern Architecture of the City of Montevideo (Uruguay), Casablanca, city of the twentieth century, crossroads of influences (Morocco), Ensemble of Álvaro Siza's Architecture Works in Portugal

With the exception of Brasilia and The Bauhaus Sites all sites below were inscribed from 2000 to the present. This rate of inscriptions has only increased as more Modernist sites have been put forward. World Heritage Sites connected to "Modernist Architecture" tend to have the largest fluxuations amongst user ratings. In fact, if you browse the reviews its not uncommon to see 1-2 star reviews and then right above or below a 4-5 star review.

The question is does this trend of inscribing "Modernist Architecture" yearly (or nearly so) continue and for how long? Eventually, even the United States may nominate the numerous Ludwig mies van der rohe buildings across the country. What representative "Modernist Architecture" is missing that is most likely to be inscribed next?

20 Modernist Architecture WHS

- Ivrea, industrial city of the 20th century (Italy) Rating Score: 1.49
- Stoclet House (Belgium) Rating Score: 1.52
- Berlin Modernism Housing Estates (Germany) Rating Score: 1.85
- White City of Tel-Aviv - the Modern Movement (Israel) Rating Score: 2.38
- Van Nellefabriek (Netherlands) Rating Score: 2.43
- Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas (Venezuela) Rating Score: 2.51
- Pampulha Modern Ensemble (Brazil) Rating Score 2.51
- Fagus Factory in Alfeld (Germany) Raing Score: 2.55
- Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt (Germany) Rating Score: 2.57
- Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Mexico) Rating Score: 2.63
- The work of engineer Eladio Dieste: Church of Atlántida (Uruguay) Rating Score: 2.65
- The Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau (Germany) Rating Score: 2.69
- The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, Switzerland) Rating Score: 2.79
- Luis Barragán House and Studio (Mexico) Rating Score: 2.82
- Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus (Germany) Rating Score: 2.86
- Sítio Roberto Burle Marx (Brazil) Rating Score: 2.88
- Tugendhat Villa in Brno (Czechia) Rating Score: 2.99
- Rietveld Schröder House (Netherlands) Rating Score: 3.04
- The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (United States) Rating Score: 3.16
- Brasilia (Brazil) Rating Score: 3.50

Author Jonas Bergmann
#2 | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 10:50 
I am convinced that the trend will continue because now the historic value of these buildings is more accepted and it is also possible to review the real gems better than 20 or 25 years ago.
Although I am not able to give a prediction which missing representative "Modernist Architecture" is most likely to be inscribed next, there will be for sure serial nominations where Germany will be extremely successful in :-).
If allowed I can only give my own opinion what should be inscribed.

Author Pavel
#3 | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 14:28 | Edited by: Pavel 
The trend should continue for a while, BAUHAUS celebrated 100 years aniversary very recently. Thus, we can easily have in one line Ancient, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicist, Art Nouveau, and Interwar monumetnts/ensembles on the list. But I think it is already very close to its limit now! From my Czech point of view, I do not think that Hradec Králové and Zlín, where old cores were completed by excellent Interwar architecture, should be on the list. On the other hand, I support already proposed Kaunas and Gdynia together with non-European sites to be inscribed.
I am for the era of after-war architecture. Big question is what is the time limit. It was evident on Gdansk shipyard example this year, that 80-90s is still too fresh and too sensitive. I would intuitively say: 70s is already OK. It means brutalism and intrusions of modern monuments into the historical context.
In my opinion, the list posted by winterkjm should include Plečnik works in Ljubljana (rating 2.6) inscribed this year. I take it from the Buddhist point of view: positive and negative emmotions are equal, thus even Plečnik who hated functionalism should be in one bag with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

Author Liam
#4 | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 15:50 | Edited by: Liam 
Derzhprom in Kharkiv is on the Ukrainian T-List and looks insanely interesting. I don't see Ukraine being able to progress that any time soon though sadly.

If 50s-60s is okay timewise then the influence of Le Corbusier could be taken further into postwar Brutalist architecture. TBH the UK could do a 'Berlin Modernism Housing Estates' and create a nomination purely focusing on sites in London (the Barbican estate, National Theatre, Trellick Tower) but I think it warrants extension elsewhere in the UK (Preston Bus Station FTW!) and abroad (taking in some so-far unrepresented cities through Boston City Hall and Wahington DC's L' Enfant Plaza in the US, Habitat 67 in Montreal, Genex Tower in Belgrade and the original Villa Göth to finally give Uppsala the WHS that Linneas hasn't). There was a central set of principles behind much of Brutalism (reverence for materials, socialist-inspired public spaces etc) to tie any nomination together.

The current UK T-List genuinely doesn't have many proposals more interesting in my view. My only hesitancy would be that I spent a year living in an award-winning Brutalist building and the place was quite unfit for human habitation!

Author Khuft
#5 | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 18:01 | Edited by: Khuft 
In terms of what is missing, I'd add (in no particular order, and not necessarily purely modernist):
- the metabolist movement in post-war Japan. Its most iconic building, the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo will sadly be torn down soon, but there might still be other examples around...Sadly, Japan doesn't really protect post-war architecture
- also from Japan, the works of Kenzo Tange would merit inscription. Major 20th century Japanese architect. Yoyogi Olympic gymnasium is one of his key works
- Modernist architecture and aviation - eg works of Eero Saarinen (TWA Terminal at JFK and Dulles airport in Washington DC)
- Geoffrey Bawa's tropical modernism in Sri Lanka (Parliament of Sri Lanka, among others)
- Vann Molyvann and New Khmer Architecture in Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia
- Portugal will at some point likely nominate works from Alvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura
- Russian Constructivism (early Soviet period). In particular works of Melnikov (various) as well as Ginzburg's Narkomfin Building. Somewhat ties in with Derzhprom but I don't see Ukraine and Russia collaborating
- various examples of Stalinist architecture. Rebuilding of Minsk springs to mind
- Architecture of independence in various African countries. Representative monuments, parliaments, presidential palaces etc in Accra (Ghana), Kinshasa (DRC), Brazzaville (Rep Congo), and certainly many others
- Islamabad, the new capital of Pakistan, built in the 1960s and thereafter
- National library of Pristina, Kosovo - built in 1982, so a bit too young currently
- Ruta de la Amistad sculptural route for the Mexico City Olympic Games in 1968
- Olympiastadion in Munich (1972 Olympic Games)
- Pyongyang?
-The start of post-modernism: Vanna Venturi House (1964) by Robert Venturi. Marking the beginning of the end for modernism as the dominant architectural style

Author winterkjm
#6 | Posted: 7 Sep 2021 23:04 
In my opinion, the list posted by winterkjm should include Plečnik works in Ljubljana (rating 2.6) inscribed this year. I take it from the Buddhist point of view: positive and negative emotions are equal, thus even Plečnik who hated functionalism should be in one bag with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

I actually weighed this quite a bit and your points are valid. Ultimately, I decided not to include his work because the criteria for its inscription did not focus on the "Modern Movement". Moreover, ICOMOS clearly stated that the sites value is not (and should not) be centered on its contribution to Modernist Architecture. I suppose it is highly subjective even regarding the experts.

From ICOMOS Concerning the Nomination Dossier: "Namely, it tends to overemphasise the comparison of Plečnik's work with the Modernist movement and newly-designed cities, while falling short in comparing with works of architects or urban planners who, during the same period, were following more comparable approaches, such as New Delhi designed by Edwin Lutyens."

Nevertheless, my informal list, was not identified to be fully expansive or definitive, but ultimately serve as a general point that about 20 WHS are linked with Modernist Architecture and more nominations are in the pipeline.

Author winterkjm
#7 | Posted: 8 Sep 2021 03:01 | Edited by: winterkjm 
A niche topic in regards to Modernist Architecture around the world. Korea does have some limited examples, that could perhaps be proposed or included in a serial nomination. I was surprised to learn, one of Korea's most celebrated architects (Kim Jung-up) worked under Le Corbusier.

Gil-ryong Park (Modernism Origins in Korea)

No-soo Park's house (1937-1938)

"Park synthesized both Korean traditional architecture and Western modern architecture in creating this house. The house is a masterpiece of Park's integration of tradition and modernity during the early 20th century. Gil-ryong Park is the representative modern Korean architect, and his design of the No-soo Park house demonstrate an interweaving of modern architecture as the interpretation and representation of Korean early modernity."

- ARCHITECTURAL RESEARCH, Vol. 19, No. 1 (March 2017)

"Korean modernism strongly interacted with Korean tradition. Korean modernism not only emerged from conflicts between tradition and modernity, as was the case in other East Asian countries, but it was entangled with both Japanized modernism as well as adopting elements of Western modernism."

Time Out: The Art Museum of Park No-Su

Kim Jung-up (Disciple of Le Corbusier)

Most Iconic Building: French Embassy (1961)

Final Work: Peace Gate at Olympic Park (1986)

"As the only Korean who worked in Le Corbusier's atelier, Kim Chung-up (1922-1988) laid the foundation for contemporary Korean architecture after returning to his war-devastated country. Kim took part in designing buildings for the Chandigarh and Ahmedabad projects; the Maisons Jaoul located in Neuilly, a suburb in Paris; and the Unité d'Habitation in Rezé, Nantes. The career certificate for Kim issued by Le Corbusier's studio indicates that Kim worked at the studio until 28/12/1955. He came back to Korea in late February of 1956." Architecture: Kim Chung-up, Dialogue

Additional Modernist-heritage that merits attention by visitors to Busan.

Streamline Moderne

Busan Meteorological Observatory (1934) (Japanese Colonial Period) - this building has been identified as part of the Busan Refugee Capital world heritage nomination.

"The current overall shape is that of when it was built in 1934, and the interior and exterior of the building have been almost completely preserved. In particular, the important technical features of modern architecture can be seen through the vertical ascending and descending windows, the ceiling molding pattern, and the handrail of the stairwell." - Busan Meteorological Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage site in meteorology

"In 1934, the observatory was relocated to the foot of the highest region—Bokbyeongsan Mountain. Resembling a ship sailing toward the vast sea, the observatory preserves the characteristics of modern structures during the Japanese rule." Introduction to Busan Heritage

Author jonathanfr
#8 | Posted: 8 Sep 2021 07:43 
My favorite because it's near my home and it could make a hotspot with Cordouan: Notre-Dame de Royan Church

Author winterkjm
#9 | Posted: 8 Sep 2021 15:16 
Notre-Dame de Royan Church

The Works of Kenzo Tange

Vann Molyvann and New Khmer Architecture in Phnom Penh

Boston City Hall

Habitat 67 in Montreal

Thanks for these potential missing suggestions (and others), very interesting.

Author Astraftis
#10 | Posted: 8 Sep 2021 17:39 | Edited by: Astraftis 
- the metabolist movement in post-war Japan. Its most iconic building, the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo will sadly be torn down soon, but there might still be other examples around...Sadly, Japan doesn't really protect post-war architecture

I took a look at the tower and it's amazing!!! Were it for me, it would already be on the List! :-D It's really sad that it's just left to decay and that demolishing seems unavoidable as yo usay... but there's still some hope left, isn't it?

Ratings seem to be more or less distributed around the mean, if we take this to be 2,5 , or slightly below if it is 3: it seems in both cases a mildly positive appreciation from the community. The fluctuation in ratings is interesting because for me it means that these buildings actually hit their mark: in many cases when they were built they were too daring for the time and so common opinion struggled to accept them with respect to traditional styles, and so it does until today! Or sometimes, we have difficulty appreciating them because they have now become "too ordinary", but then they were groundbreaking.

I'll be happy to see new additions to this list (like Pavel I would be fond of seeing extra-European sites), as I was eventually happy about Plečnik's Ljubljana inclusion. Among the current possible nominations that I know, I am however not entirely sure about Kaunas: I think it is a "solid package" (and surely very wll worth visiting it), but I'm doubtful it really passes all the checks. But let's see.

Finally, that 1,52 score to Stoclet House is unfair and it is just borne from the annoyance of not being able to visit it: but from what "filters" to the outside, architecturally and artistically it seems to have the potential of 4-5*.

Author christravelblog
#11 | Posted: 26 Sep 2021 11:49 
I think most ratings are on the low site.....

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