10 iconic modern buildings first to receive 'Keeping it Modern' conservation grants from the Getty Foundation

Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House are among the buildings to receive grants from the Getty Foundation.

October 01, 2014 |
The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has announced the first ten grants for significant modern buildings as part of a major new philanthropic initiative focused on the conservation of 20th Century architecture around the world. Called Keeping It Modern, the effort will address the considerable challenges involved with the conservation of modern architectural heritage through support for key model projects.
The initial ten projects selected to receive funding under this new initiative form a roster of striking modern buildings:

• Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House

• Hilario Candela’s Miami Marine Stadium

• Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies

• Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium

• Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House

• Ray and Charles Eameses’ residence ‘The Eames House’

• I.M. Pei’s Luce Memorial Chapel

• Max Berg’s Centennial Hall in Wroc?aw, Poland

• Dov Karmi’s Max Liebling House in the White City of Tel Aviv, Israel

• Le Corbusier’s apartment and studio in Paris, France.
“Keeping It Modern builds on the Getty Foundation’s long and successful track record of support for the conservation of historic buildings around the world,” said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. “This new initiative, Keeping It Modern, continues our commitment, but now brings into sharp focus the specific conservation issues of modern buildings. This initial round of grants includes important buildings on several continents.”
Modern architecture is one of the defining artistic expressions of the 20th Century, and is increasingly at risk. Architects and engineers often used experimental materials and novel construction techniques to create innovative forms and advance new approaches to architecture. These cutting-edge building materials and structural systems were often untested and have not always performed well over time. Heritage professionals do not always have enough data on the nature and behavior of these materials to develop the necessary protocols for conservation treatment. Keeping It Modern is addressing these challenges by funding model projects that can point the way toward new methods and standards for the conservation of modern architecture.
Each grant project has been chosen for its architectural significance and potential to advance conservation practices related to modern architecture. Grants focus on the comprehensive planning, testing, and analysis of modern materials, as well as the creation of conservation management plans that guide long-term maintenance and conservation policies. Together, the projects represent a variety of challenges professionals face in preserving modern buildings, from the aging of materials such as concrete to scientific analyses of exterior and interior finishes.
The Foundation created Keeping It Modern to complement the Getty Conservation Institute’s Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI). Two of the first ten projects funded through Keeping It Modern (the Salk Institute and the Eames House) are related to CMAI projects.
Keeping It Modern is part of the Getty’s strong overall commitment to modern architecture, as demonstrated by CMAI, as well as the extensive and growing architectural collections of the Getty Research Institute, and the recent Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture initiative which focused on Los Angeles’ modern heritage. With these combined efforts, the Getty hopes to significantly advance the understanding and preservation of 20th Century modern architecture.
Future Keeping It Modern grants will be awarded through a juried competition process. Support will be available for significant buildings around the world from the modern era that serve a public function and are owned by nonprofit, charitable, or public entities that are committed to the building’s long-term preservation and maintenance. Deadlines and criteria for the next round of applications will be announced on the Getty Foundation website at www.getty.edu/foundation
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