10th Docomomo conference on the Heritage of the Modern Movement

DOCOMOMO Nederland hosts the 10th International Docomomo Conference, which will be held in the Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek Rotterdam from September 13-20, 2008. The central theme is “The Challenge of Change Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement” with Herman Hertzberger and Barry Bergdoll acting as keynote speakers.

The aim of the conference is to provide participants with a platform for intense exchanges of ideas and experience. The conference will be dynamic, challenging and at times provoking, but will always invite participants to join in discussion. It will unite architects, architectural historians, and preservationists in debate, and will attract and reach out to policy-makers, politicians, project developers, cultural theorists, philosophers, artists, clients and users.

The architecture of the Modern Movement was always future-oriented, with a firm and optimistic belief in the possibilities of progress. Nowadays, the achievements may still appeal to us, but in fact the buildings of the 20th century belong to the past and have become eligible for listing and preservation. This evolution has created the paradox of the Modern monument and it has raised questions of principle concerning the issues of conservation, renovation and transformation of Modern buildings. This necessitates the revisiting of the ideals and key concepts of the Modern Movement ideals and concepts that cannot always be matched with the acts of reconstruction that are part and parcel of the practices of conservation, renovation and transformation.

Herman Hertzberger completed his studies at the Delft University of Technology in 1958. He taught at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam, was a professor at the TU Delft, a visiting lecturer at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and chairman of the Berlage Institute Amsterdam. In 1960 he established the Herman Hertzberger Architectuurstudio.

Barry Bergdoll is Chief Curator of Architecture and Design of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a professor at Columbia University.

The conference will be held in the De Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek, the former Van Nelle factory, an imposing, listed building with international allure. Designed by architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt, it was built between 1925 en 1931. The building is one of the Dutch icons of the Modern Movement.

DOCOMOMO Nederland is a working group of the international organization for DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the MOdern MOvement. DOCOMOMO’s goal is to boost the knowledge of and appreciation for Modern Architecture in the Netherlands by mapping and giving attention to the heritage and mental legacy of this form of architecture, landscape architecture and urban development. They have joined forces with other organizations to achieve the objectives set out in the Eindhoven Statement.

The registration period begins today, January 21, 2008. For more information, please visit www.docomomo2008.nl.