Keeping It Modern is a grant initiative focused on supporting model projects for the conservation of modern architecture. Below is a list of 2017 grants awarded:


Cathedral Church of St. Michael
Coventry Cathedral, Sir Basil Spence, 1962, Coventry, England

Coventry Cathedral
 
Coventry Cathedral is both a celebrated example of 20th century architecture and a monument to the adjoined ruins of 500 year-old St. Michael's Cathedral. During the German Luftwaffe's devastating Coventry Blitz in November 1940, the Gothic church was decimated to a mere skeleton, with only the tower, spire, and a few outer walls left standing. In the bombing's wake, the community of Coventry was left with the question of whether and how to rebuild, ultimately leading to an open competition. Sir Basil Spence's daring, modern plan was a radical break from tradition, but was also the only design that incorporated and preserved the destroyed church.

Consecrated in May 1962, Coventry Cathedral rapidly became a popular symbol of reconciliation in postwar Britain. Spence's design fuses St. Michael's remains with the modern structure using red sandstone walls, slender columns, minimally vaulted ceilings, and numerous bays of stained glass windows. The merging of the modern building with the ruins has resulted in a holy space where visitors and worshippers can experience the union of past and present.

Although the modern cathedral has been in good care, fifty years of continuous use has resulted in the patina of age and some mechanical failures of building services, making the space unsuitable for contemporary demands. The grant will allow the cathedral architect to work with a team of conservation specialists on the creation of a comprehensive conservation management plan. The resulting plan will allow the building's stewards to address the site's much-needed repairs and prepare for long-term sustainability.

Grant support: £132,000


City of Boston
Boston City Hall, Kallmann, McKinnell, & Knowles, 1968, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston City Hall
 
In 1962 a panel of judges defied expectations and awarded the design of Boston City Hall to the newly established firm of Gerhard Kallmann, Michael McKinnell, and Edward Knowles to execute a bold new vision of brutalist architecture. Grandly austere with its concrete facade, Boston City Hall features several playful gestures, including its gravity-defying mayor's office that hovers over the main entrance plaza and a profusion of outsized classical dentils. The latter's ironic reference to the city's plethora of Greek-inspired municipal buildings underscores the architects' intention to introduce a new idiom to Boston's civic landscape. Although reception of the building has been mixed, the last several years have seen a shift in public sentiment, with many residents now embracing the site as a key feature of the city fabric.

Even with this renewed support, serious issues affect the structure's long-term preservation—from water ingress to inadequate joint support for structural concrete elements. City Hall is keenly aware that strategic planning is needed to pave the way forward. Specialists across many professions, in close collaboration with City Hall and the Boston Landmarks Commission, will use Getty support to evaluate the building and plaza, perform laboratory analysis of the concrete, and assess the building's systems in order to create a conservation management plan for the site.

Grant support: $120,000


Fondation Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (CDG)
Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex, Jean-François Zevaco, 1958, Sidi Harazem, Morocco

Sidi Harazem
 
Nestled in a Moroccan oasis where ancient mineral springs have drawn visitors for centuries, the Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex represents a marriage of nature, public space, and modern architecture. Built four years after Moroccan independence, the complex is the ambitious statement of a new nation determined to create modern and forward-thinking gathering places for its citizens. In 1957, a state-owned pension fund commissioned Moroccan-born French architect Jean-François Zevaco to design the site. Opened a year later to widespread acclaim, the complex is Zevaco's largest work and marks an early example of concepts that he would revisit throughout his prolific career.

By the 1980s the aging baths had waned in popularity and today only limited parts of the site are open to the public. The market, bungalows, and central courtyard—envisioned by Zevaco as the heart and soul of the site—remain closed indefinitely. The Fondation Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion (CDG), which owns the site, is committed to reopening it fully in response to a renewed interest in the oasis. By using Getty funds to create a conservation plan to inform future interventions, the CDG can preserve the complex's architectural significance while allowing careful adaptations that will improve the location as a tourist center. The resulting plan will create a preservation roadmap that puts the site's owner and the local community on the path to revitalizing and restoring the baths to their full functionality.

Grant support: $150,000


Japan Sport Council
Yoyogi National Gymnasium, Kenzo Tange, 1964, Tokyo, Japan

Yoyogi
 
When Japan was preparing to host the first-ever Olympic Games in Asia in the early 1960s, the state commissioned eventual Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kenzo Tange to build a pivotal venue for the event. Tange responded with the Yoyogi National Gymnasium, two elegant concrete and steel buildings that gained immediate international recognition as masterpieces of modern architecture when their doors opened in 1964.

Yoyogi National Gymnasium's state-of-the-art technology and exacting engineering, along with its elongated sweeping roofline, introduced a new modernism to Japan while still evoking the grace and timelessness of traditional Japanese architecture. With its spindle- or shell-like shape, Yoyogi National Gymnasium became a prime example of Japan's Metabolist style, a postwar Japanese movement that explored architecture as a living and evolving organism.

Owned and operated by the Japan Sport Council, the gymnasium has been well cared for and has been continuously used for sports and cultural events. Looking ahead to 2020, Japan will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games and, once again, Yoyogi National Gymnasium—now part of a heritage zone focusing on the legacy of the 1964 Olympics—will be used for indoor sports competitions. In order to ensure that any interventions meet heritage standards, the Japan Sport Council proposes a detailed study of the gymnasium, including its related historical archives, building materials, and the necessary functional upgrades to meet the needs of today's visitors. The project will result in one of the first conservation management plan for modern architecture in the country.

Grant support: $150,000


Middle East Technical University
Faculty of Architecture Building, Altuğ and Behruz Çinici, 1963, Ankara, Turkey

METU
 
The Middle East Technical University (METU) Faculty of Architecture Building located in Ankara is considered the premier example of modern architecture in Turkey. Originally housing administrative offices and the university's central library, the building was conceived in the 1950s to reflect a political agenda that valued innovation and new models for learning. Designed by Turkish-born architect couple Altuğ and Behruz Çinici as a manifestation of a forward-looking nation, the building incorporates striking nods to the International Style, as well as regional interpretations of modernism.

In 1966 the building became the Faculty of Architecture, which is highly regarded academically for its technical capability as well as its cultural heritage preservation program. This expertise is now needed for its own building, which faces the deterioration of modern elements and persistent energy performance problems resulting from the campus's location on the harsh, earthquake-prone Anatolian steppe.

Given the architectural significance of the Faculty building, the university will research and develop a long-term conservation management plan, led by the Faculty of Architecture. The university intends to use the resulting plan as a prototype for the conservation of other buildings on the METU campus and to raise public awareness about the importance of preserving Turkey's modern architecture.

Grant support: $100,000


Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP)
Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Lina Bo Bardi, 1968, São Paulo, Brazil

MASP
 
An anchor of cultural life in the Brazilian city of São Paulo, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) is a glass and steel tour de force. Suspended on four massive pillars, the building shell hovers 26 feet above the ground and contains a total floor area of over 110,000 square feet.

Designed by Lina Bo Bardi in 1957 and completed in 1968, the museum houses one of the most important collections of Western art in the Southern hemisphere. Bo Bardi was a visionary architect who believed that modern design should integrate local materials and surroundings. Originally from Italy, she relocated to Brazil in 1946 and put her experimental ideas into practice with her Casa de Vidro (Glass House) built in 1951 (Keeping It Modern grantee, 2016). Less than a decade later, Bo Bardi tackled MASP as the most ambitious project of her career.

The museum has undergone several interventions over the years to address water infiltration, concrete spalling, and tension issues with the structural beams, however conservation challenges still remain. MASP will use Getty support to create an integrated conservation and maintenance plan that provides specific recommendations for long-term care and maintenance.

Grant support: $150,000


NVA (Europe) Limited
St. Peter's Seminary, Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein (Gillespie, Kidd & Coia architectural practice), 1966, Glasgow, Scotland

St. Peter's
 
Designed for the Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow, St. Peter's Seminary was instantly recognized for its unabashedly brutalist use of in-situ and pre-cast panel concrete, which formed a modern homage to traditional religious forms—cloister, chapel, refectory, and cells. Architects Andy MacMillan and Isi Metzstein won the Royal Institute of British Architects' Royal Gold Medal for Architecture and earned the highest ranking of significance in Scotland for a design that artfully rearranged traditional religious spaces in unexpected ways. Yet after only 14 years of use this training college for priests was shuttered, and deteriorating conditions landed the site on the World Monuments Fund's most endangered cultural landmarks list in 2008.

After 30 years of dormancy, many despaired that the complex was beyond repair and could not be salvaged. Now, after thoughtful research and a feasibility study, stewards are seeking a new life for the site as a performance space, cultural venue, and exhibition center. This creative adaptive reuse cannot happen, however, until the remaining structure is stabilized and conserved.

Practitioners will conduct a comprehensive diagnostic analysis and log every individual element of the structure's frame and pre-cast paneling, ascertaining the varying deterioration states of concrete throughout the complex. Work will also include test repairs and mock-ups, as well as cleaning trials, which will guide future conservation protocols.

Grant support: £112,000


PEC University of Technology
Government Museum and Art Gallery, Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret), 1968, Chandigarh, India

Chandigarh
 
The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh is a pivotal work by Le Corbusier, representing the culmination of the concept he developed with Pierre Jeanneret of a museum of the future. Their 1931 idea for a "Museum of Unlimited Growth" employed the design principle of a nautilus, radiating outward from the center to create a sense of unrestricted expansion. Le Corbusier also realized this idea at the Sanskar Kendra in Ahmedabad and the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo.

From the exterior, the Chandigarh museum, with its flattened spiral internal structure, appears to levitate on a field of pilotis. Le Corbusier's use of exposed reinforced concrete and brick cladding for the museum's facade symbolized the emergence of novel building typologies and the "arrival of the modern" in India as a newly independent nation. The Government Museum and Art Gallery is also recognized as a Grade-1 heritage site in India.

The Chandigarh Administration—the Government Museum and Art Gallery's owner—has cared for the building well over the years, but Punjab's extreme climate has caused material failure of exterior and interior walls. To break the cycle of ad hoc repairs, the museum will develop a research-based conservation management plan. The plan will provide a detailed overview of the building's condition with recommendations on the most urgent conservation repairs and a strategy with schedules for regular maintenance. To enhance the impact of the project, the team will strengthen local capacity through workshops and museum training and build international connections by convening representatives from the other two similar museums in Ahmedabad and Tokyo.

Grant support: $150,000


Price Tower Arts Center Inc.
Price Tower, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1956, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Price Tower
 
The sole skyscraper of influential architect Frank Lloyd Wright stands out in the prairie landscape of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Price Tower rises 19 stories tall and remains a commanding feature of the town's modest skyline. For the interior spaces, Wright designed a mix of offices, shops, and residences that would generate revenue from residential and commercial leases. The arrangement succeeded, and the building remained in use, as designed, until its sale to Phillips Petroleum in 1981. Phillips renovated Price Tower's mechanicals, plumbing, and electrical systems, and stabilized the exterior prior to donating the building to Price Tower Arts Center (PTAC) in 2002.

Upon assuming ownership, the PTAC has taken important steps to preserve the tower as a living example of Wright's architecture. An adaptive reuse plan for nine floors created hotel rooms and a restaurant, while preserving character-defining features. The Price Company's executive offices and corporate apartment still remain largely in their original condition or have been restored to approximate their original state. In recognition of PTAC's sensitive restoration and quality stewardship, Price Tower was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007.

While PTAC has carefully preserved and adapted Price Tower to meet contemporary needs, additional structural and mechanical repairs at the historic site are necessary. PTAC recognizes that such repairs will be successful only if they are done systematically. A comprehensive conservation management plan will be developed that takes a holistic view of the building's long-term care and promises to deepen the field's understanding of the skyscraper's architectural significance.

Grant support: $75,000


Schusev State Museum of Architecture
Melnikov House, Konstantin Melnikov, 1929, Moscow, Russia

Melnikov
 
Moscow's Melnikov House is a superlative example of Soviet avant-garde architecture and a masterpiece of structural ingenuity. Built as two intersecting cylinders, the house's unconventional style reflects the boundary-pushing vision of architect Konstantin Melnikov, who designed the house as his studio and family residence. Two generations of the family lived in the building until the death of the architect's son in 2006, and the property was transferred to the state in 2011 to be operated as a museum. The house and studio contain more than 14,000 objects, including original furnishings, paintings and drawings by Konstantin and Victor Melnikov, as well as architectural drawings and sketches. The site has now become the new State Melnikovs Museum—a branch of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture.

Among the defining features of Melnikov's design is the reliance on cylindrical shapes to provide both material economy and structural sturdiness. The house contains no interior load-bearing walls, allowing for large, unobstructed rooms and maximum light and space. The home also incorporates glass to striking effect, most notably with its 64 unique 'honeycomb' hexagonal windows that provide diffuse light throughout the interior.

Because of renewed interest in the home's long-term preservation—and the desire of museum officials to increase annual visitation—the museum must address the building's underlying conservation needs. Grant funds will support the development of a conservation plan, based on studies of archival records combined with technical research into the roof, façade, and windows; an assessment of the structural condition; a study of the heating, ventilation, and internal electrical and mechanical systems; and a survey of the interiors. The plan will serve as a model for best practice for other avant-garde monuments from the 1920s-1930s in Russia and include participation by local and international experts.

Grant support: $120,000


Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau
Bauhaus building, Walter Gropius, 1925, Dessau, Germany

Bauhaus
 
Walter Gropius's 1925 Dessau Bauhaus building is an icon of the modern movement: a sleek steel, concrete, and glass structure designed to house the most progressive school of art and architecture of the time. The building is both a clear statement of Gropius's visionary aesthetic and a monument to some of the 20th century's most influential artists, architects, and designers who served as Bauhaus faculty.

The central Bauhaus building is a striking ensemble of three wings with two connecting bridges, varying in height and placed at 90 degree angles. Gropius relied on innovative engineering technologies to create a large skeleton of steel and reinforced concrete, brickwork, and mullioned steel windows. He achieved variation in the façades through restrained color difference between walls and the bold use of steel-framed glass to form curtain walls, one of the earliest examples of this characteristic feature of modernist architecture. UNESCO named the campus a World Heritage Site in 1996, and today it is open to the public as a museum and research center owned and managed by the Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau.

An exemplary steward of the site, Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau recognizes that the long-term care of the building requires the development of a conservation management plan. To create the plan, experts will research and then consolidate the site's extensive historical and technical records into a comprehensive database to guide and prioritize future interventions. Research will include new technical studies of original paint colors, analyses of character-defining features such as steel-glass window constructions and nickel plated fixtures, and explorations into the use of experimental materials that are no longer produced today.

Grant support: €135,000


Universitá degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
Stadio Flaminio, Pier Luigi Nervi, 1960, Rome, Italy

Stadio Flaminio
 
Designed for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, the Stadio Flaminio is one of Pier Luigi Nervi's most celebrated buildings. Nervi was a prolific architect and engineer, who explored the boundaries of reinforced concrete with daring technological innovations and expressive concepts. By creating an arena that could hold 45,000 people, Nervi succeeded in a structural engineering feat for the time—transforming concrete into gravity-defying forms.

Stadio Flaminio is one of many arenas and sports buildings designed by Nervi and reflects his numerous years of experience. With the stadium fully executed by the Nervi family's architectural firm and designed in partnership with his son Antonio, Nervi had unique freedom to implement some of the structural engineering innovations in reinforced concrete and ferro- (or thin-) shell cement that he had been developing for decades. Although originally designed to host soccer matches, the venue has been used for other activities throughout the years, including rugby games and concerts. In 2011, despite its architectural and historic importance, the stadium was decommissioned due to declining use.

The Municipality of Rome recognizes the importance of the venue and will develop a conservation plan to guide the stadium's restoration and revitalization. The plan will include analysis of the building's architecturally significant elements, investigation of its structural stability, and scientific research of materials. The conservation plan for Stadio Flaminio sends a strong signal of the city's support for modern architecture and is a positive step in the long-term stewardship of Nervi's large body of work.

Grant support: €161,000