Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain
by Leyla Daybelge and Magnus Englund
In the mid-1930s, three giants of the international Modern movement, Bauhaus professors Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and László Moholy-Nagy, fled Nazi Germany and sought refuge in Hampstead. The Lawn Road Flats, or Isokon building (as it came to be known), was commissioned by the visionary young couple Jack and Molly Pritchard and designed by aspiring architect Wells Coates. Built in 1934 in response to the question ‘How do we want to live now?’ it was England’s first modernist apartment building and was hugely influential in pioneering the concept of minimal living. During the mid-1930s and 1940s its flats, bar and dining club became an extraordinary creative nexus for international artists, writers and thinkers.
This book, which includes hitherto unseen archival material, tells the story of the Isokon, from its beginnings to the present day, and fully examines the work, artistic networks and legacy of the Bauhaus artists during their time in Britain. The tales are not just of design and architecture but war, sex, death, espionage and the infamous dinner parties.
See also: Edith Tudor-Hart, the Bauhaus and Isokon
Publication: March 2019