2010 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize Awarded to Bierman Henket Architecten and Wessel De Jonge Architecten - Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal

2010 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize Awarded to Bierman Henket Architecten and Wessel De Jonge Architecten

October 20th, 2010 | Category: Industry News

Bonnie Burnham, president, World Monuments Fund (WMF), announced that WMF awarded its 2010 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize to Bierman Henket architecten and Wessel de Jonge architecten, leading practitioners in the restoration of modern buildings, for their “technically and programmatically exemplary” restoration of the Zonnestraal Sanatorium (designed 1926-28; completed 1931), a concrete, glass and steel structure in Hilversum, The Netherlands. The sanatorium was designed by Johannes Duiker (1890-1935) and Bernard Bijvoet (1889-1979).


Prior to beginning work on Zonnestraal, extensive research was employed to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the rationale behind its design. Henket and de Jonge developed a conservation program that was predicated on a thorough structural analysis of all of the building’s elements: framing, construction technology and materials, building installations, and the interrelation of all of these.

The conservation project aimed at the reconstruction of the sanatorium’s design scheme, including its original façades, partitions and finishes; however, there was little conservation or restoration of authentic materials, many of which had literally disappeared. Some lost parts–such as the steel window-casements, the sheet glass, and the linoleum and terrazzo flooring–were commercially reconstructed. Other components, like window glazing and hardware that had been industrially produced in the 1920s, were no longer in production and had to be handcrafted.

Henket says, “Modernist buildings were often designed with temporality in mind, which makes them fragile and very difficult to keep for future generations. I am thrilled that we won this important prize for our work on Zonnestraal, the most fragile and inspiring of them all.”


de Jonge adds, “Since its completion in 1928, Jan Duiker and Bernard Bijvoet’s Zonnestraal Sanatorium has been among the most canonical and internationally celebrated examples of Modern Movement architecture in The Netherlands. Nonetheless, it fell into abject disrepair. The process of saving it required careful dismantling of the main building, which provided invaluable information and hands-on experience with early-modern building technology. We are delighted that Duiker’s work is once again available to the architecture community, as well as to the public at large, and are greatly honored that the Modernism Prize jury selected our project.”

The biennial award will be presented to the Netherlands-based firms at The Museum of Modern Art, New York on November 18, 2010 by Burnham, Barry Bergdoll, MoMA’s Philip Johnson chief curator of Architecture & Design and chairman of the prize jury; and Andrew Cogan, CEO, Knoll Inc.

The World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize was created to acknowledge the specific and growing threats facing significant modern buildings, and to recognize the architects and designers who help ensure their rejuvenation and long-term survival through new design solutions. In determining the winner of, the jury reviewed more than 20 nominations from 14 countries.

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