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The international specialist’s committee on
Registers (ISC/R) was established in 1992 during the second docomomo
international conference, held in the Bauhaus building in Dessau. The aim
was to engage working parties in fostering documentation on modern
movement buildings and sites. The most immediate objective was the
development of an inventory of iconic examples of modern architecture to
be discussed at the Barcelona Conference in 1994. Gérard Monnier, docomomo
France, was elected first chair of the committee. Criteria for the
selection constituted the heart of the debate within the committee. A
meeting was held in Paris at the headquarters of Icomos in the fall 1993
for establishing a grid of criteria.
The third docomomo international conference (Barcelona, September 1994)
was the first milestone in the collective register work. Fifteen working
parties submitted fiches recording a total of more than 500 buildings and
sites, illustrated with photos and CDs.
In December of the same year the ISC/R held a meeting aimed to evaluate
the results of the Barcelona conference and to establish a common pattern
for the inventory. The Committee distinguished three levels for selecting
significant buildings, sites and neighborhoods of modern architecture:
level: the national and/or regional register
international level: the international selection (IS)
level: world heritage List (WHL).
Response from the working
parties to the registers’ project has been quite encouraging. The
considerable progress since Barcelona and the proposals for future
documentation extended the inventory to include gardens, landscapes and
At the fifth docomomo international conference (Stockholm 1998) the
submissions presented in Barcelona were augmented by many more detailed IS
records, from 15 to 29 national or regional working parties.
The specialists’ committees agreed that the next phase of collecting data
would extend the scope of the registers to include significant examples of
modern urbanism after WWII. This stage was named “new international
The NIS fiche, published in February 2000, was designed to accommodate a
wider range of subjects – especially complexes including several items – and
to facilitate transfer of files to a database. The NIS represents a third
phase of documentation, extending, not replacing, the records of modern
buildings and sites, previously produced. Working parties had to continue to
extend the range of their records, revising earlier fiches.
In the meantime, more than thirty working parties have made great efforts to
contribute to a collective publication The Modern Movement in Architecture:
Selections from the docomomo registers. The book was launched at the sixth
international conference in Brasilia, in 2000, to celebrate the forty
anniversary of the inauguration of the new capital.
The docomomo registers, including the fiches and the attached documents, are
gathered together in the archive collection of the Netherlands Architectural
Institute in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). They illustrate about 800
buildings and sites from more than 35 countries worldwide.
Maristella Casciato, chair of docomomo international, was chair of the
committee for several years. She was replaced by Panayotis Tournikiotis,
docomomo Greece, during the eighth docomomo international conference (Paris
2002). Since 2004, New York conference, Inge Bertels replaces Marieke
Kuipers, whom became vice-president, as secretary of the committee.
In 2002 a thematical approach was launched by Panayotis Tournikiotis. From
2003 onwards, evry national working party is aksed to submit 5 register
fiches related to a specific theme. The definition of the theme is
formulated by the ISC/R and corresponds every pair years to the
internatational conference theme. In the unpair years the ISC/R
seminars-theme is follewed.
- 2003: Sports, Body and Modern Architecture (Athens seminar)
- 2004: Import-Export: Postwar Modernism in an Expanding World,
1945-1975 (New York Conference)
- 2005: The Modern House
- 2006: Other Modernisms (Conference in Turkey, 2006)
2008: The Machine and Modern Architecture
The ISC/R meets regularly each year. Meetings have been held in Rotterdam,
Budapest, Barcelona, Sabaudia, Leuven-Antwerp and Brnö. The annual meeting is usually scheduled
for mid-July. In 2008 the meeting took place in Paris from 4th till the 6th of July.