Grants Address Modern Architecture


With its sights set on conserving iconic 20th century architecture, the Getty Foundation says it will award a series of grants to preserve the works of Frank Lloyd Wright and Jørn Utzon, among others.

The initiative, called “Keeping it Modern,” will award its initial 10 grants “for significant modern buildings as part of a major new philanthropic initiative focused on the conservation of 20th Century architecture around the world," the Los Angeles-based foundation announced Sept. 16.

The grant amounts awarded will be between $50,000 and $200,000.

“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, in the announcement.

Marrow added that the new initiative continues the foundations commitment, "but now brings into sharp focus the specific conservation issues of modern buildings."

Project Basis

Each project for the program was chosen for its architectural significance and potential to advance ways in which modern architecture is preserved.

Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House Getty Foundation grants
Frank Lloyd Wright Trust / Tim Long

The Getty Foundation will award conservation grants to projects that have architectural significance, like the Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House in Chicago. Grant amounts are between $50,000 and $200,000.

The projects, according to the foundation, 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 grants focus on comprehensive planning, testing, and analysis of modern materials, along with the creation of conservation management plans that guide long-term maintenance and conservation policies.

Henry Luce Memorial Chapel
Tunghai University

Taiwan's Henry Luce Memorial Chapel will receive $175,000 in the first round of grants.

The initial 10 projects selected and the amount of grant support each will receive are:

  • Alvar Aalto's Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, $180,000;
  • Charles and Ray Eames' Eames House in Pacific Palisades, CA, $100,000;
  • Le Corbusier's Apartment and Studio in Paris, €147,000;
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House in Chicago, IL, $50,000;
  • Hilario Candela’s Marine Miami Stadium in Miami, FL, $180,000;
  • Max Berg’s Centennial Hall in Wroclaw, Poland, $200,000;
  • Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, $200,000;
  • Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, $200,000;
  • Dov Karmi and C.K. Chen’s Max Liebling House in the White City of Tel Aviv, Israel, $130,000; and
  • I.M. Pei’s Henry Luce Memorial Chapel in Taiwan, $175,000;

Setting Standards

According to Getty, architects and engineers often used experimental materials and construction techniques to create the modern architecture of the 20th century.

Salk Institute
Salk Institute of Biological Studies / Joe Belcovson

The Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, is one of four projects located in the U.S. and one of three to receive the maximum $200,000 grant.

However, these "cutting-edge building materials and structural systems were often untested and have not always performed well over time," the foundation notes. Additionally, heritage professionals don't always have enough information on the way these materials behave to develop protocols for conservation treatment.

Keeping It Modern also aims to address these issues by funding model projects that can help set new methods and standards for conserving modern architecture.

Future grants will be awarded through a juried competition process, and criteria and deadlines will be available on the Getty Foundation website.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Asia Pacific; Australia; Building Envelope; China; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Europe; Frank Lloyd Wright; Funding; Grants; Historic Preservation; Preservation

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