As Modernism moves from a contemporary style to a time-stamped fashion, preservationists are grappling with how to preserve the features that make up modern architecture. Corbusier’s concrete and Charles and Ray Eameses’ mass-produced flooring are just two of the styles the Getty Conservation Institute is working to preserve through a new initiative.
Launched in March, the Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative is an international program conserving 20th-century heritage. The first project will be figuring out how to preserve the L.A. Eames House’s mass-produced materials, Tom Stoelker reports in The Architect’s Newspaper.
‘We wanted to treat this like a very precious painting,’ said principal architect Frank Escher. ‘A project of this sort of complexity would require all kinds of specialists.’ [Wim] De Wit passed the request on to the Conservation Institute, which in turn decided to take up the project as a test case for CMAI.
Advancing construction techniques were a catalyst in instituting this initiative as the window for appreciating the styles of certain eras diminishes. And it’s not just Modernism that’s at risk, Stoelker says. Brutalism and other styles are also facing preservation dilemmas.