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World Monuments Fund: The Latest Architecture and News

Kenzo Tange Gymnasium and 7 Other Threatened Sites Receive $1M in Preservation Funding

Eight sites from the World Monuments Fund’s 2018 World Monuments Watch list have been awarded $1 million in funding from American Express to support much-needed preservation and restoration initiatives. The sites were selected based on their vulnerability to specific threats like natural disasters, climate change or social forces like urbanization that have left them neglected.

2018 World Monuments Watch Lists 50 Cultural Sites at Risk from Human and Natural Threats

The World Monuments Fund has announced their 2018 World Monuments Watch, highlighting 25 cultural sites from across the globe currently at risk due to economic, political or natural threats. Covering more than 30 countries and territories, these monuments represent sites of exceptional cultural value dating from prehistory to the 20th century.

Iraq, Al-Hadba’ Minaret. The al-Hadba’ Minaret, seen from the mosque before its destruction, 2009. Mosab Mohammed Jaseem/World Monuments FundJapan, Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium. The Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium, seen from the southwest, was designed to evoke the form of a traditional Japanese wooden barge, 2014. Noriyuki Kawanishi/World Monuments FundChile, Ramal Talca-Constitución. Four historic railbuses run on the Talca-Constitución narrow-gage line, 2006. Erick Cespedes/ Wikimedia Commons/ World Monuments FundUnited States, Buffalo Central Terminal. The Buffalo Central Terminal complex includes an iconic Art Deco office tower, 2017. Joe Casico/World Monuments Fund+ 29

Rehabilitation of Netherlands Complex Wins World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize 2016

Molenaar & Co architecten (Rotterdam), Hebly Theunissen architecten (Delft), and landscape architect Michael van Gessel (Amsterdam) have won the 2016 World Monuments Fund/ Knoll Modernism Prize for the preservation and rehabilitation of the Justus van Effen complex in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Originally designed by Michiel Brinkman in 1919-1921 and completed in 1922, the Justus van Effen complex is a strong example of the ideals embodied in the modern movement, particularly with its use of an elevated “street” as a means of facilitating social cohesion, which became very influential for subsequent generations of designers. 

© Healy Theunissen architecten © Molenaar & Co. architecten/Bas Kooij© Molenaar & Co. architecten/Bas Kooij© Molenaar & Co. architecten/Bas Kooij+ 13

Heritage & Conflict: Syria’s Battle to Protect its Past

For the inaugural talk in World Monuments Fund Britain's Heritage & Conflict series, we welcome Prof. Maamoun Abdulkarim, Director-General of Antiquities and Museums for Syria, to give the human story behind the global headlines, and James Davis from the Google Cultural Institute, to report on the latest international efforts to scan and document cultural heritage through advancing technology. The evening will be introduced by Lisa Ackerman, Executive Vice President of World Monuments Fund.

World Monuments Fund Releases List of 50 Endangered Cultural Sites

The World Monuments Fund has released its 2016 World Monuments Watch list of 50 cultural heritage sites at risk in 36 countries around the world. The list, in its twentieth year, seeks to identify sites “at risk from the forces of nature and the impacts of social, political, and economic change,” and direct financial and technical support towards them.

The 2016 list includes the entirety of post-earthquake Nepal, an underwater city, the only surviving quadrifrons arch in Rome, and a structurally significant hyperboloid tower, among others. The Fund even featured an “Unnamed Monument” on the list, in honor of all sites at risk of damage from social and political instability around the globe.

Learn more about some of the featured monuments, after the break.

Alvar Aalto's Restored Viipuri Library Wins 2014 Modernism Prize

The 2014 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize has been awarded to the Finnish Committee for the restoration of Alvar Aalto’s seminal Viipuri Library in Vyborg, Russia. “Designed by Aalto and constructed between 1927 and 1935 in what was then the Finnish city of Viipuri,” stated WMF in a press release, “the library reflects the emergence of Aalto’s distinctive combination of organic form and materials with the principles of clear functionalist expression that was to become the hallmark of his architecture.”

A quote from Barry Bergdoll and more images, after the break.

Main stair hall, 2014. Image © The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library and Petri NeuvonenLobby, 2014. Image © The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library and Petri NeuvonenAlvar and Aino Aalto with Aarne Erve, 1935. Image Courtesy of The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri LibraryViipuri Library, c. 1935. Image Courtesy of The Finnish Committee for the Restoration of Viipuri Library+ 15

WMF partners with Google to Preserve World Heritage Sites

Stonehenge, Avebury : Screenshot via World Wonders Project
Stonehenge, Avebury : Screenshot via World Wonders Project

From the archeological areas of Stonehenge to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, Google’s World Wonders Project is dedicated to digitally preserving and virtually sharing the World’s Heritage Sites. Users can explore some of the world’s greatest places through panoramic images, 3D laser scanned models, videos and informative text. Although Google World Wonders is a new and ongoing project, they already have more than 130 sites in 18 countries featured. The project is also an educational resource, allowing students and scholars to use the materials to discover some of the most famous sites on earth. A selection of free educational packages are available to download for classroom use.

Google World Wonders is made possible through the partnership of Google, UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and Cyark, with a shared mission to preserve world heritage sites for future generations.

Start exploring here.