Isokon Gallery

Isokon Gallery Experience the remarkable story of the Isokon apartment building, opened in 1934 as a progressive experiment in new ways of urban living.
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Operating as usual

We have now put our Agatha Christie collection onto the Isokon Gallery web shop. Tote bags, tea towels, mugs, posters an...
01/06/2021

We have now put our Agatha Christie collection onto the Isokon Gallery web shop. Tote bags, tea towels, mugs, posters and postcards with original first edition book cover illustrations. www.isokongallery.org

Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky, 1926-1927, ...
31/05/2021

Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky, 1926-1927, as recreated by MoMA. In the late 1920s, approximately ten thousand kitchens designed by Schütte-Lihotzky were at the core of a far-reaching program to modernize public housing and infrastructure in Frankfurt. Inflation and war had precipitated a housing crisis in all major German cities. Under the direction of chief city architect Ernst May, the so-called New Frankfurt became a testing ground for modern architectural forms, new materials, and innovative construction methods. The Frankfurt Kitchen was designed like a laboratory or factory and in accordance with contemporary theories of efficiency, hygiene, and workflow. Schütte-Lihotzky’s primary goal was to reduce the burden of women’s labour in the home. In planning the design, she conducted detailed time-motion studies and interviews with housewives and women’s groups. Each kitchen came with a revolving stool, a gas stove, built-in storage, a foldaway ironing board, an adjustable ceiling light, and a removable garbage drawer. Labeled aluminium storage bins were provided for staples like sugar and rice, and they were designed with spouts for easy pouring. Careful thought was given to the choice of materials: oak was used for flour containers to repel mealworms and beech for cutting surfaces to resist staining and knife marks. The result is one of modernism’s most famous cooking spaces. (Text by MoMA).

Frankfurt Kitchen from the Ginnheim-Höhenblick Housing Estate, Frankfurt am Main, by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky, 1926-1927, as recreated by MoMA. In the late 1920s, approximately ten thousand kitchens designed by Schütte-Lihotzky were at the core of a far-reaching program to modernize public housing and infrastructure in Frankfurt. Inflation and war had precipitated a housing crisis in all major German cities. Under the direction of chief city architect Ernst May, the so-called New Frankfurt became a testing ground for modern architectural forms, new materials, and innovative construction methods. The Frankfurt Kitchen was designed like a laboratory or factory and in accordance with contemporary theories of efficiency, hygiene, and workflow. Schütte-Lihotzky’s primary goal was to reduce the burden of women’s labour in the home. In planning the design, she conducted detailed time-motion studies and interviews with housewives and women’s groups. Each kitchen came with a revolving stool, a gas stove, built-in storage, a foldaway ironing board, an adjustable ceiling light, and a removable garbage drawer. Labeled aluminium storage bins were provided for staples like sugar and rice, and they were designed with spouts for easy pouring. Careful thought was given to the choice of materials: oak was used for flour containers to repel mealworms and beech for cutting surfaces to resist staining and knife marks. The result is one of modernism’s most famous cooking spaces. (Text by MoMA).

On Thursday 10 June at 6:00 pm, tribute will be paid by Berlin-based artist Judith Raum and design historian Tanya Harro...
30/05/2021
Torn Threads: Aspects of the Life and Work of Textile Designer Otti Berger

On Thursday 10 June at 6:00 pm, tribute will be paid by Berlin-based artist Judith Raum and design historian Tanya Harrod to Otti Berger (1898-1944), the talented and successful Yugoslav-Jewish, Bauhaus-trained textile designer who fled Germany, tried unsuccessfully to make a new life for herself in England (living briefly in Belsize Lane, near Lawn Road Flats), returned to her country of origin after her visa application for the USA failed, and ultimately perished in Auschwitz with her family.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/torn-threads-aspects-of-the-life-and-work-of-textile-designer-otti-berger-tickets-156230552789

Artist Judith Raum will be joined by design historian Tanya Harrod to evoke the life & work of Yugoslav-Jewish textile designer Otti Berger

The Isokon Furniture Company in the 1930s might have been a minuscule operation, but the place where its furniture was m...
29/05/2021

The Isokon Furniture Company in the 1930s might have been a minuscule operation, but the place where its furniture was made wasn't. This is the inside nowadays of the factory building of A M Luther in Tallinn, Estonia where the Long Char was made - and this is only one of several factory buildings Luther had in Tallinn. Today it's the offices for Estonia's leading financial newspaper. A M Luther in turn owned 50% of Venesta in Britain, which employed 5,000 staff, including one Jack "Plywood" Pritchard, residing at Lawn Road Flats, as their sales and marketing manager. To say that Isokon was a British furniture company is therefore a simplification; yes it was registered and active there, but the furniture was designed by a man from Pécs, Hungary and made in Tallinn, Estonia, using woods from around the world. Just like many of the best furniture companies today, it was a very international company.

The Isokon Furniture Company in the 1930s might have been a minuscule operation, but the place where its furniture was made wasn't. This is the inside nowadays of the factory building of A M Luther in Tallinn, Estonia where the Long Char was made - and this is only one of several factory buildings Luther had in Tallinn. Today it's the offices for Estonia's leading financial newspaper. A M Luther in turn owned 50% of Venesta in Britain, which employed 5,000 staff, including one Jack "Plywood" Pritchard, residing at Lawn Road Flats, as their sales and marketing manager. To say that Isokon was a British furniture company is therefore a simplification; yes it was registered and active there, but the furniture was designed by a man from Pécs, Hungary and made in Tallinn, Estonia, using woods from around the world. Just like many of the best furniture companies today, it was a very international company.

28/05/2021
Tomorrow, Isokon Gallery Trust chairman John Allan is on BBC2 with Michael Portillo, talking about architect Berthold Lu...
25/05/2021
BBC Two - Great British Railway Journeys, Series 13, Hampstead to Islington

Tomorrow, Isokon Gallery Trust chairman John Allan is on BBC2 with Michael Portillo, talking about architect Berthold Lubetkin, who Allan knew for several decades and has written many books about, as well as restoring Lubetkin's works, including the Penguin Pool at London Zoo. No, it's not Allan on the right in this photo with his hair down! https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000wgs1

Michael’s Bradshaw’s-inspired rail tour of London continues in Hampstead.

Look who's coming to town! Taken from a 1931 front page of Turun Sanomat, the newspaper of Turku in Finland, it announce...
25/05/2021

Look who's coming to town! Taken from a 1931 front page of Turun Sanomat, the newspaper of Turku in Finland, it announces that former Bauhaus master (and soon to be Isokon Furniture Company graphic designer) László Moholy-Nagy has arrived for a visit to Alvar and Aino Aalto (Alvar on left, Aino with handbag). Turku was and still is the home of the Korhonen furniture factory, where the production of Aalto furniture took place, and in nearby Paimio, Aalto had recently completed his sanatorium. Alvar Aalto also took László Moholy-Nagy to the medival stone church at Hattula, which made such a deep impression on Moholy-Nagy that he named his daughter Hattula. She is now head of the László Moholy-Nagy Foundation, and visited the Isokon Gallery in 2019 to see the blue plaque featuring her father that English Heritage had put up on the Isokon Building in 2018.

Look who's coming to town! Taken from a 1931 front page of Turun Sanomat, the newspaper of Turku in Finland, it announces that former Bauhaus master (and soon to be Isokon Furniture Company graphic designer) László Moholy-Nagy has arrived for a visit to Alvar and Aino Aalto (Alvar on left, Aino with handbag). Turku was and still is the home of the Korhonen furniture factory, where the production of Aalto furniture took place, and in nearby Paimio, Aalto had recently completed his sanatorium. Alvar Aalto also took László Moholy-Nagy to the medival stone church at Hattula, which made such a deep impression on Moholy-Nagy that he named his daughter Hattula. She is now head of the László Moholy-Nagy Foundation, and visited the Isokon Gallery in 2019 to see the blue plaque featuring her father that English Heritage had put up on the Isokon Building in 2018.

Young Marcel Breuer. His life would come to move in an unusual tandem with that of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, first...
24/05/2021

Young Marcel Breuer. His life would come to move in an unusual tandem with that of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, first as student, then as teacher at the Bauhaus, then moving into Lawn Road Flats and working with Gropius for the Isokon Furniture Company, then joining Gropius as teacher at Harvard and building his own house next to Gropius home, marrying the secretary in their joint architects office. Even after Breuer left Harvard, the practice with Gropius and moved away from the house next door, was he still linked to Gropius, getting his big international breakthrough after Gropius had put him forward for designing the UNESCO head office in Paris. Breuer died in 1981 and is buried next to his summer house in Cape Cod, a place Gropius had introduced him to in the summer of 1937.

Young Marcel Breuer. His life would come to move in an unusual tandem with that of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, first as student, then as teacher at the Bauhaus, then moving into Lawn Road Flats and working with Gropius for the Isokon Furniture Company, then joining Gropius as teacher at Harvard and building his own house next to Gropius home, marrying the secretary in their joint architects office. Even after Breuer left Harvard, the practice with Gropius and moved away from the house next door, was he still linked to Gropius, getting his big international breakthrough after Gropius had put him forward for designing the UNESCO head office in Paris. Breuer died in 1981 and is buried next to his summer house in Cape Cod, a place Gropius had introduced him to in the summer of 1937.

We now have a cinema! It might be small (Isokon has always been about efficient use of space) but we are adding more and...
23/05/2021

We now have a cinema! It might be small (Isokon has always been about efficient use of space) but we are adding more and more content, to explore the many aspects of the Isokon story.

We now have a cinema! It might be small (Isokon has always been about efficient use of space) but we are adding more and more content, to explore the many aspects of the Isokon story.

All roads lead to the Agatha Christie exhibition, which opens at the Isokon Gallery at Lawn Road today. Free entry, open...
22/05/2021

All roads lead to the Agatha Christie exhibition, which opens at the Isokon Gallery at Lawn Road today. Free entry, open 11:00 am to 4:00 pm every Saturday and Sunday. No booking required.

Agatha Christie, the world’s best selling novelist, spent the second World War living in a tiny flat in the Isokon build...
21/05/2021
Mariella Frostrup | Times Radio | The Times and the Sunday Times

Agatha Christie, the world’s best selling novelist, spent the second World War living in a tiny flat in the Isokon building in Hampstead. It was an incredibly prolific period in her career in which she wrote the Mousetrap and also “killed” Hercule Poirot. At 2 hrs 22 mins into this program, author and Isokon Gallery trustee Leyla Daybelge tells Mariella Frostrup on Times Radio about our new exhibition, which opens this weekend. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/radio/show/20210520-4650/2021-05-20?fbclid=IwAR0OyLpSTIJCZOTNQ84W9Eqb1ZtLXAjxBULH_5fn6U-VnxyMAGziuhllpTQ

Listen to Times Radio live for the latest breaking news, expert analysis and well-informed discussion covering the biggest stories of the day.

The Council of Europe has chosen the "Alvar Aalto Route – 20th Century Architecture and Design" as the first in Finland ...
21/05/2021

The Council of Europe has chosen the "Alvar Aalto Route – 20th Century Architecture and Design" as the first in Finland among the prestigious Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. The route covers more than 60 architectural sites in 27 cities in five different countries: Finland, Germany, Estonia, Italy and France. The cultural route status promotes the international recognition of Alvar Aalto's buildings and strengthens the significance of Aalto's work as part of Europe's cultural heritage. All the Aalto sites proposed as World Heritage Sites are also on the Alvar Aalto Route. The theme of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe must be common to at least three countries. The routes must promote the sustainable development of culture, international cultural and youth exchanges, and cultural-heritage education, as well as cultural tourism around the route. The agreement concerning the routes is based on the Council of Europe's cultural and heritage agreements. “We see the spotlighting of cultural co-operation and Finnish culture in the context of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe as very important. It can also open up opportunities for developing tourism more widely,” states Anne Mattero, Special Government Advisor at the Ministry of Education and Culture. Finland signed the Council of Europe's Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes in 2018. Photo of the Aalto studio in Helsinki.

The Council of Europe has chosen the "Alvar Aalto Route – 20th Century Architecture and Design" as the first in Finland among the prestigious Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. The route covers more than 60 architectural sites in 27 cities in five different countries: Finland, Germany, Estonia, Italy and France. The cultural route status promotes the international recognition of Alvar Aalto's buildings and strengthens the significance of Aalto's work as part of Europe's cultural heritage. All the Aalto sites proposed as World Heritage Sites are also on the Alvar Aalto Route. The theme of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe must be common to at least three countries. The routes must promote the sustainable development of culture, international cultural and youth exchanges, and cultural-heritage education, as well as cultural tourism around the route. The agreement concerning the routes is based on the Council of Europe's cultural and heritage agreements. “We see the spotlighting of cultural co-operation and Finnish culture in the context of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe as very important. It can also open up opportunities for developing tourism more widely,” states Anne Mattero, Special Government Advisor at the Ministry of Education and Culture. Finland signed the Council of Europe's Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes in 2018. Photo of the Aalto studio in Helsinki.

Oskar Kokoschka painting Agatha Christie for her 80th birthday in 1970. Kokoschka had lived and worked in Hampstead duri...
19/05/2021

Oskar Kokoschka painting Agatha Christie for her 80th birthday in 1970. Kokoschka had lived and worked in Hampstead during WWII after fleeing Czechoslovakia, although we don't know if her ever met Christie - then living at Lawn Road Flats - during that time. He also has another indirect Isokon connection, in that he was the lover of Walter Gropius first wife Alma Mahler, and stayed in contact with her up until her death in 1964, famously ordering a life sized doll of her from the best doll maker in Vienna. Photo courtesy of The Christie Archive Trust.

Oskar Kokoschka painting Agatha Christie for her 80th birthday in 1970. Kokoschka had lived and worked in Hampstead during WWII after fleeing Czechoslovakia, although we don't know if her ever met Christie - then living at Lawn Road Flats - during that time. He also has another indirect Isokon connection, in that he was the lover of Walter Gropius first wife Alma Mahler, and stayed in contact with her up until her death in 1964, famously ordering a life sized doll of her from the best doll maker in Vienna. Photo courtesy of The Christie Archive Trust.

Happy birthday to Walter Gropius, born on the 18th May 1883!
18/05/2021

Happy birthday to Walter Gropius, born on the 18th May 1883!

Happy birthday to Walter Gropius, born on the 18th May 1883!

Remember we helped defeat the greedy freeholder twice at planning for wanting to stick a box on top of Whitehall Lodge s...
16/05/2021
Whitehall Lodge, London (1936-37)

Remember we helped defeat the greedy freeholder twice at planning for wanting to stick a box on top of Whitehall Lodge so they can make money, despite over 170 objections from residents, neighbours, international architects and public bodies, including C20? Now they're at it again, taking it to the government in the hope they will overrule the council's decision. Anyone can protest, wherever you are in the world, but has to be done quickly, so please help! You find all the information here, click on photo. https://modernisttourists.com/2020/03/23/whitehall-lodge-london-1936-37/?fbclid=IwAR1pjeBBmoT-jwwP3s1LA27fKcn57kqIsMOekcna2qyBsuSSwDjcpgKcSTY

May 2021 Update – Planning Appeal – urgent call to action! Following Haringey Council’s rejection of two different planning applications to add a large rooftop extension to Whiteh…

Been to Hoddesdon recently? These people have! In 1951, it was the unlikely location of CIAM8, the eight international c...
15/05/2021

Been to Hoddesdon recently? These people have! In 1951, it was the unlikely location of CIAM8, the eight international congress of modern architecture. Hoddesdon is located between the New Towns of Harlow and Stevenage, just north of London, two places that would have been essential viewing for those attending the congress. With the working title 'The Heart of the City', CIAM8 was also known as the Festival CIAM, as it coincided with the Festival of Britain. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius was one of the many famous international architects at the CIAM congress, and he also visited the main Festival of Britain site on the South Bank in London, but was not impressed by what he saw; by this time his mind was already moving in more Brutalist thoughts, as proven with his Interbau project in Berlin later in the same decade.

Been to Hoddesdon recently? These people have! In 1951, it was the unlikely location of CIAM8, the eight international congress of modern architecture. Hoddesdon is located between the New Towns of Harlow and Stevenage, just north of London, two places that would have been essential viewing for those attending the congress. With the working title 'The Heart of the City', CIAM8 was also known as the Festival CIAM, as it coincided with the Festival of Britain. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius was one of the many famous international architects at the CIAM congress, and he also visited the main Festival of Britain site on the South Bank in London, but was not impressed by what he saw; by this time his mind was already moving in more Brutalist thoughts, as proven with his Interbau project in Berlin later in the same decade.

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Isokon Building
London
NW3 2XD

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Saturday 11:00 - 16:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

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+447713507018

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Isokon Gallery - the story of a remarkable building

The Isokon Gallery tells the remarkable story of the Isokon building, the pioneering modern apartment block opened in 1934 as an experiment in new ways of urban living.

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hello, any thoughts on this 1930s plywood shelving unit designed by wells coates for cresta silks retail chain,brought in a cambridge goodwill store
Hello all! Not sure if this has been shared here but it appears there's an article mentioning the Isokon on the British Airways magazine. My cousin sent this to me but I don't have any more details. Happy readings :)
Fabulous and a joy, love Bauhaus, many heroes of mine!
MIDCENTURY EAST - Sunday 20th May - 55 mid 20th century experts from the UK and Scandinavia with stunning stands spread around a brutalist building. Limited Discounted tickets £9 all day 2 for £10 afternoon so get them while you can https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/midcentury-east-vintage-inte… 500 on the door on the day. £10 all day. Design Heaven - Orla Kiely Masses of covetable stuff at Dulwich College mid 20th C design fair #getin comedienne Jenny Eclair ely @modernshows Without a shadow of a doubt! #modernshows #modern_shows #eventsthatrockyourworld “Modern Shows enthusiasm and commitment is inspiring” barbarachandler.co.uk Interiors Editor Evening Standard ‘This show could cause design lovers a cardiac arrest.’ Grand Designs "The brilliantly curated Modern Shows is a must-visit event for anyone after original mid-century design." Charlotte Abrahams, freelance design writer FT How to Spend it, Guardian, Observer, Elle. 'All the must-see vintage furniture, lighting and accessories dealers in one place makes for serious temptation. " "It's like visiting a design museum where you can sit on the classics, talk to knowledgable people and then take the exhibits home with you. I enjoy every show immensely and would recommend this show to any lover of design.' Matthew Hilton, furniture designer Damn you @modernshows and your beautiful vintage furniture. #Quality @absolutebombs “Their shows are literally a shoppers paradise whether you're looking for collectable one-offs or small gift items. Get a ticket for the next show now!” Michelle Mason, designer and shop owner, Mason & Painter, Columbia Rd "Nothing compares to the standard and quality of their shows." Haji and White "Other shows could learn from this." Geoff Ivey "This is a great day out, a well-loved, friendly show." Chris…. Vintage Unit