Press Release

Nominations Now Open For The World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize

Award Celebrates Pioneering Approaches to Preserving Modern Architecture

April 20, 2021, New York, NY – Today marks the launch of nominations for the 2021 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize. The biennial award recognizes outstanding achievements in saving buildings emblematic of the groundbreaking modern movement that swept across the globe during the twentieth century. World Monuments Fund (WMF) established the prize in 2008 with founding sponsor Knoll to honor individuals and organizations that have revitalized modern built heritage through innovative architectural solutions. This year, the prize will recognize a project showcasing excellence in environmental sustainability and preservation that has a positive economic and community impact. The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm EDT.

Once considered the vanguard of architecture, modern structures around the world are falling victim to deterioration, perceived obsolescence, and public apathy. These threats repeatedly result in outright demolition or alterations that compromise the building’s integrity. Many modern structures are too young to qualify for landmark designation and protection, and as such, require additional support for their preservation.

“With the announcement of the prize winner this fall, we look forward to once again championing individual acts that make an outsized difference in the survival of our recent heritage,” said Bénédicte de Montlaur, President and CEO of WMF. “This year’s focus on sustainable, community-centered approaches to adapting modern buildings celebrates the power of preservation as a positive force in society.”

An independent jury of architectural scholars, conservators, and professionals in related fields will select the prize winner. The jury is chaired by Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Nominated projects must have been completed in the last ten years and must have faced challenges or threats that affected the site before the project implementation. Threats may include deterioration of original materials, obsolescence, abandonment, or inappropriate changes in use, ownership, economic or political conditions surrounding the site. The prize will be awarded to a project that increased the site’s environmental and economic sustainability while benefiting the local community.

The prize is part of WMF’s broader commitment to address challenges facing modern sites through advocacy, education, and conservation, including the World Monuments Watch, WMF’s biannual program spotlighting 25 sites under threat with the potential for social impact. The prize stemmed from WMF’s Modernism at Risk initiative, created in 2006 with the support of founding sponsor Knoll, in response to the increasing threats to buildings representative of the modern movement.

To learn more and submit a nomination, please visit


About World Monuments Fund

World Monuments Fund is the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s significant cultural places to enrich lives and build mutual understanding. For more than 55 years, working at more than 700 sites in 112 countries, its highly skilled experts have applied proven and effective techniques to the preservation of important architectural and cultural heritage sites around the globe. Through the World Monuments Watch—a biennial, nomination-based program—WMF uses cultural heritage conservation to empower communities and improve human well-being. In partnership with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF seeks to inspire an enduring commitment to stewardship for future generations. Headquartered in New York City, the organization has offices and affiliates worldwide.

About Knoll

Knoll, Inc. is a constellation of design-driven brands and people, working together with our clients in person and digitally to create inspired modern interiors. Our internationally recognized portfolio includes furniture, textiles, leathers, accessories, and architectural and acoustical elements. Our brands—Knoll Office, KnollStudio, KnollTextiles, KnollExtra, Spinneybeck | FilzFelt, Edelman Leather, HOLLY HUNT, DatesWeiser, Muuto, and Fully—reflect our commitment to modern design that meets the diverse requirements of high performance workplaces, work from home settings and luxury residential interiors. A recipient of the National Design Award for Corporate and Institutional Achievement from the Smithsonian`s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Knoll, Inc. is aligned with the U.S. Green Building Council and the Canadian Green Building Council and can help organizations achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) workplace certification. Our products can also help clients comply with the International Living Future Institute to achieve Living Building Challenge Certification, and with the International WELL Building Institute to attain WELL Building Certification. Knoll, Inc. is the founding sponsor of the World Monuments Fund Modernism at Risk program.

Media Contact

Chelsea Beroza, Press & Media Relations Officer, World Monuments Fund,

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