Buy an exceptional flat with furniture to match at Hampstead's Isokon building
PUBLISHED: 12:55 22 October 2014 | UPDATED: 12:55 22 October 2014
A rare opportunity to purchase a flat in the Isokon building on Lawn Road in Hampstead has arisen.
The apartment, on the ground floor of the block, has one bedroom, separated from the south-facing reception room by a sliding door, which can be opened out to give more space and light.
The property is being sold through KFH Hampstead for £499,950 and, at only 451 square foot, it is on the small side, which could make furnishing the space tricky.
The flats were originally furnished with pieces designed by the Isokon company, which also commissioned the building.
Isokon Plus, took over the licence from original owner Jack Pritchard in 1982 and continues to manufacture pieces based on the original designs from their studio in Hackney Wick.
The pieces would be an ideal purchase for the eventual buyer of the apartment currently up for sale.
Chris McCourt, founding owner of Isokon Plus, says “Originally, in the 1930s, the flats were all let as serviced properties and they were all furnished with Isokon furniture.
“I’ve been manufacturing the pieces for more than 30 years and I’ve sold a lot to people who’ve lived in the building.”
McCourt recommends the company’s most popular item, the Penguin Donkey, a curved, wooden magazine rack and small shelving unit, ideal for storing select paperbacks.
“The Isokon Dining Table, and the Short Chair, rather than the long chair, are also ideally suited to those small flats,” he suggests.
Both pieces were originally designed by Isokon resident, Hungarian architect and furniture designer, Marcel Breuer in 1936.
“We also manufacture items designed more recently by Barber Ogersby. Their stuff is pretty neat and can be made in any size, which is ideal for the compact Isokon flats.
“The one-bedroom flats are on the tight side.”
Of course, at the Isokon, buyers are paying for the ability to call this slice of architectural history their own.
The 1930s concrete building is Grade I-listed reflecting its significance as an early experiment in urban communal living.
Designed by architect Wells Coates, the flats were intended for young professionals with little time for housework and so were built with only kitchenettes as there was a large communal kitchen where staff prepared residents’ meals.
And after the kitchen closed and became the Isobar restaurant in 1937, Agatha Christie and Bauhaus designers would rub shoulders with the many Soviet spies who also lived in the building.