Reuse of Modernist Buildings


  • Michel Melenhorst Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts image/svg+xml




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


In his keynote lecture “When the oppressive new and the vulnerable old meet”, at the 13th docomomo Conference in Seoul 2014, Hubert-Jan Henket (1940–) made a passionate plea for “Sustainable Modernity”. In docomomo Journal 52, an invitation to join this plea was published. Hubert-Jan Henket also spoke of a wish to change the curricula at all schools of architecture and include the history of modernity as well as the conservation and adaptive reuse of what is there already as a standard part of the education. Since then, and even before 2014, a lot has happened in exploring the further potential of reusing Modern Movement Architecture. In 2016 the project “RMB Reuse of Modernist Buildings” started. For the RMB project docomomo International and the University of Antwerp, Belgium; the University of Coimbra and the Instituto Superior Técnico – University of Lisboa, both from Portugal; Istanbul Technical University, from Turkey and TH-OWL, Detmold School of Architecture and Interior Architecture from Detmold, Germany, came together to prepare a master course, addressing the subjects as formulated in 2014 by Hubert Jan Henket and docomomo.

How to Cite

Melenhorst, M. (2019). Reuse of Modernist Buildings. Docomomo Journal, (61), 4–7.







Author Biography

Michel Melenhorst, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Michel Melenhorst studied Architecture at the TU Delft, worked at Wiel Arets (1991-1995) and Rem Koolhaas/OMA (1995-1999). Since 2012 he is a Professor for Contextual Design, at the TH-OWL in Germany. Melenhorst leads the RMB project, a consortium of five European universities and docomomo International, dedicated to educating students in the reuse of modernist buildings.