Lawn Road Flats (The Isokon) – A New Vision of Urban Living


  • John Allan




Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


So much of modern architecture’s early history depended on a handful of courageous pioneers. One of the first Modern Movement buildings in England was the achievement of an unlikely trio — a plywood salesman and his psychotherapist wife, and a Canadian part-time journalist turned architect. This article and the accompanying text by Magnus Englund tell the extraordinary story of the Lawn Road Flats in Hampstead, London – their origins and heyday, the linked program of furniture design, their declining postwar fortunes and ruination, and then their recent and remarkable rescue and restoration to become a beacon of modern heritage and the epitome of progressive 21st century urban living.

How to Cite

Allan, J. (2018). Lawn Road Flats (The Isokon) – A New Vision of Urban Living. Docomomo Journal, (58), 78–81.





Documentation Issues


Author Biography

John Allan

(b. UK, 1945). MA, University of Edinburgh. Honorary doctorate, University of Sheffield. As Director of Avanti Architects (1983-2011) – he is now consultant to the practice – John Allan has led all Avanti’s Modern Movement conservation projects and studies. He was the first Chair of docomomo UK (1989-1991) and is currently the Chair of The Isokon Gallery Trust. Author of the award-winning Berthold Lubetkin – Architecture and the Tradition of Progress (RIBA Publications, 1992; Artifice, 2012).


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