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6: LAWN ROAD FLATS

Lawn Road Flats (also known as Isokon Flats) was Wells Coates's first building. Now internationally recognised as a key building of the British modern movement, it began as a design for two houses for the clients, Jack and Molly Pritchard. After many crises and complications it was completed in 1934. The flats, as can be seen from the plans, are an attempt to answer the constraints of modern living by providing the simplest accommodation which would (as in all Wells Coates's designs) give maximum comfort from minimum materials. J.M.Richards, the architectural critic, wrote that Lawn Road Flats were 'more like the machine a habiter than anything Le Corbusier ever designed'.

The flats are known for being occupied by some famous tenants such as Agatha Christie and Walter Gropius. In recent years they have become more infamous by being neglected by the London Borough of Camden, their owner since the early 1970s. Camden have now put the flats on the market and it is hoped that a suitable buyer will restore them in a way of which the architect would approve.

Click here to see an example of the original publicity for the flats.

Lawn Road Flats at night
Lawn Road Flats at night

 

The minimum flat
The minimum flat. Most furniture was built in.