Docomomo International

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Docomomo International
Logo Docomomo.gif
Founded 1988 by Dutch architects Hubert-Jan Henket and Wessel de Jonge in Eindhoven
Services Protection and conservation of Modern Architecture
Ana Tostões

Docomomo International (sometimes written as DoCoMoMo or simply Docomomo) is a non-profit organization whose full title is International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement.

Mrinalini Rajagopalan, author of "Preservation and Modernity: Competing Perspectives, Contested Histories and the Question of Authenticity," described it as "the key body for the preservation of modernist architecture".[1]


Its foundation was inspired by the work of ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, established in 1965. The work of Icomos was concerned with the protection and conservation of historical buildings and sites, whereas Docomomo was founded to take up the challenge of the protection and conservation of Modern Architecture and Urbanism.

Docomomo International was founded in Eindhoven in 1988 by Dutch architects Hubert-Jan Henket and Wessel de Jonge. Henket chaired Docomomo International with de Jonge as secretary until September 2000 when the International Secretariat relocated to Paris, where it was hosted by the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, in the Palais de Chaillot. The chair was Maristella Casciato, architect and architectural historian; with Émilie d'Orgeix, architectural historian, as secretary and Anne-Laure Guillet as director.

In 2008 there were 2,000 individual members. That year, 49 countries had national chapters and working parties of Docomomo. In 2010, the International Secretariat was relocated to Barcelona, hosted by the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. Ana Tostoes, architect and architect historian, chairs Docomomo International with Ivan Blasi, architect, as secretary. In 2014 the secretariat was transferred to the Instituto Superior Técnico at Lisbon, Portugal. Professor Tostoes remained as chair, with Zara Ferreira as secretary.

Conferences and seminars[edit]

Docomomo holds biennial international conferences where the people related to conservation issues gather and exchange information and studies pertaining to their scholarly research. The list of conferences held until now is as follows:

  • 1990 - Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  • 1992 - Bauhaus Dessau, Germany
  • 1994 - Barcelona, Spain
  • 1996 - Bratislava and Sliac, Slovakia
  • 1998 - Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2000 - Brasília, Brazil
  • 2002 - Paris, France
  • 2004 - New York, United States
  • 2006 - Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey
  • 2008 - Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2010 - Mexico City, Mexico
  • 2012 - Espoo, Finland
  • 2014 - Seoul, South Korea
  • 2016 - Lisbon, Portugal

The International Scientific Committee on Technology (ISC/T) organizes seminars covering the following themes: restoration of reinforced concrete structures, curtain-wall facades, windows and glass, wood and the modern movement, colours in modern architecture and stone in modern buildings.

Seminars and conferences are often held in key modernist buildings, as for instance at Alvar Aalto’s Vyborg Library (2003 ISC/T seminar), Brinkman and Leendert van der Vlugt's Van Nelle factory in Rotterdam (2008 Conference), and Gordon Bunshaft's Lever House in New York (closing party at 2004 Conference).


The Docomomo Journal is published twice a year.[2]

Work at national level[edit]

Many countries have national Docomomo working parties, as either part of academic establishments or architecture federations. They may define gazetteers of important structures to be protected, such as DoCoMoMo Key Scottish Monuments and DoCoMoMo Architectural Masterpieces of Finnish Modernism,[3] or support local campaigners.[4]

Preservation work by Docomomo together with others was recognised by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection after a 2009 charrette to protect the former Bell Labs Holmdel Complex.[5]


  1. ^ Rajagopalan, Mrinalini (2012). "Preservation and Modernity: Competing Perspectives, Contested Histories and the Question of Authenticity". In Crysler, C. Greig; Cairns, Stephen; Heynen, Hilde. The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory (paperback ed.). Sage Publications. p. 324. ISBN 9781446282632. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  2. ^ Cramer, James P. and Evans Yankopolus, Jennifer, "Docomomo." Almanac of Architecture & Design 2006. Greenway Communications, November 1, 2005. ISBN 0975565427, 9780975565421. p. 426.
  3. ^ DoCoMoMo Architectural Masterpieces of Finnish Modernism, Maija Kairamo et al. (eds.), Helsinki: docomomo Suomi-Finland, 2002.
  4. ^ Why we have to protect our modern buildings, Western Mail, 18 July 2009
  5. ^ "Bell Labs charrette recognized by state", Greater Media Newspapers, June 25, 2009

Further reading[edit]

  • Guillet, Anne-Laure (projects manager, Docomomo International, Cité de l'architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris).Docomomo International. Modernity as Heritage." Journal of Architectural Conservation. Volume 13, Issue 2, 2007. p. 151-156. DOI: 10.1080/13556207.2007.10785002. Published online: 16 January 2014.

External links[edit]