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The Iconic Houses website is a showcase for 20th-century modernist residential buildings of cultural-historical and architectural importance from around the world. An easy-to-use map provides views and location details for more than a hundred architectural sites. The Alvar Aalto Museum, under its Director Susanna Pettersson, has shared in the design and implementation of the website right from the start. The iconic Aalto buildings include The Aalto House, the Muuratsalo Experimental House and Maison Louis Carré.

Iconic Houses

“The project reflects the need to collaborate with modernist house museums around the world. The Iconic Houses website aims to benefit from the expertise of professionals in the field and to increase international awareness of these splendid buildings,” Pettersson says.

The Iconic Houses network and website are the brainchild architectural historian Natascha Drabbe, owner and curator of the Van Schijndel House in Holland. Apart from Drabbe and Pettersson, the five-member working group includes Iveta Černá, Director of Villa Tugendhat at Brno in the Czech Republic, Kimberli Meyer, Director of the Schindler House in Los Angeles, and Lynda Waggoner, Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. The venture is run by the Iconic Houses Foundation in The Netherlands.

In particular, Drabbe’s tireless work of collecting the material has created the basis for the extensive website and the map interface and forthcoming app, which makes it easier for lovers of architecture and design to plan their travels.

“No resource existed before to help people locate and visit these unique houses,” Drabbe says.

A hundred houses have been added to the website so far, and new buildings are lining up to join them. There are strict criteria for sites chosen for the website, and only the most important and interesting buildings are eligible. In addition to the Aalto houses, there are, for instance, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and a renowned Unesco site, Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat. Room has also been found for some less well-known gems, such as Geoffrey Bawa’s Colombo residence in Sri Lanka, where visitors can even choose to spend the night.

An Iconic Houses app for iPhone and iPad users will be released soon.

The Iconic Houses website:  



Director Susanna Pettersson,, tel. +358 40 7360 699,

Alvar Aalto Foundation/ Alvar Aalto Museum

Producer Tomi Summanen,, tel. +358 44 555 7337, Alvar Aalto Museum