DOCOMOMO was launched on the initiative of Dutch architects commissioned to examine possible futures for Duiker & Bijvoet's famous Zonnestraal Sanatorium of 1927 in Hilversum. But the Modern Movement in architecture was on principle international. Its central organisation of the early and middle twentieth century embodied that in its title, CIAM: the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne. Its British section was the Modern Architectural Research group, MARS, formed in 1933. In 1959 British architects were instrumental in creating its successor, Team 10. Today DOCOMOMO spans from Argentina to Russia, Israel to Canada, and the network of groups is still growing.

As work progressed over its first decade, DOCOMOMO's focus has extended from its initial concern with work preceding the Second World War to embrace the buildings which have continued and developed upon Modern Movement ideas in subsequent decades. But DOCOMOMO is not just concerned with the past. In believing that the social, tectonic and aesthetic attitudes which identified the pioneers still have relevance today, DOCOMOMO seeks to spread knowledge about the modern heritage into current professional practice and education and to stimulate the imaginative reinterpretation of those principles for today's conditions and priorities.

Thus the international organisation has developed Specialist Committees comprising members from across the world with special interests and expertise in such fields as the technology of building maintenance and conservation as it applies to modern buildings; in modernist urbanism and landscape; in education and theory; in the visual arts of modernism; for creating its own publications and its national and international registers of significant buildings.

Melnikov, Rusakov club, Moscow

Le Corbusier, Curutchet house,
La Plata 1948