Modern architecture is one of the defining artistic forms of the 20th century. Set free from traditional structural requirements, architects and engineers used experimental materials and novel construction techniques to create innovative forms and advance new philosophical approaches to architecture.

Gandhi Bhawan
Today this modern architectural heritage is at considerable risk. The cutting-edge building materials and structural systems that define the modern movement were often untested and have not always performed well over time. Heritage professionals do not always have enough scientific data on the nature and behavior of these materials and systems to develop the necessary protocols for conservation treatment.

To address these challenges, the Foundation developed Keeping It Modern, an international grant initiative that continues our deep commitment to architectural conservation with a focus on important buildings of the twentieth century.

Since 2014, Keeping It Modern has supported 77 grant projects of outstanding architectural significance that contribute to advancing conservation practice. Current, active grants focus on the creation of conservation management plans that guide long-term maintenance and conservation policies, the thorough investigation of building conditions, and the testing and analysis of modern materials. The program teams participating in these projects are also spreading awareness of the need for research-based planning for modern buildings, and are themselves forming new international networks, aided by annual workshops in London made possible by Getty grants to the Twentieth Century Society.

The final Keeping It Modern architectural conservation grants for direct project support were awarded in summer 2020. Of the 77 project grants awarded to date, five have focused on implementation. Due to their excellence in prior planning and the quality of implementation, these projects have strong potential to serve as models for the conservation of other 20th-century buildings.

As a service to the field, technical reports from grant projects are made freely accessible online through the Keeping It Modern Report Library. The library is updated periodically with new reports as they are completed.

The Foundation created Keeping It Modern to complement the Getty Conservation Institute's Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative (CMAI). Two of the buildings supported to date by Keeping It Modern are directly related to CMAI.

Browse Keeping It Modern Projects By Year
Above: Louis Kahn, Salk Institute, 1965. Photo: Joe Belcovson for the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. Top: Sydney Opera House. Photo: Jack Atley, courtesy of Sydney Opera House Trust