Isokon, Lawn Road Flats

Wells Coates, London, 1934


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The north east facade 

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  • The north east facade    
  • The south east facade    
  • Cantilevered gallery walkways and escape staircase    
  • Cantilevered walkways and escape staircase running along the front facade    
  • View of facade from the south    
  • Cantilevered balconies on the south west elevation    
  • The south east facade at night    
  • The north east facade at night    
  • View along a gallery walkway    
  • Main living space of flat    
  • Kitchenette    
  • Dressing room and bathroom    
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Typical floor plan    
  • Plan of a typical flat    
  • Section through a flat    
  • North elevation    
  • East elevation    
  • South elevation    
  • West elevation    

Modernist block of flats built in reinforced concrete incorporating 'minimum' studio flats, garages and rooftop penthouse

The original design brief from Jack and Holly Pritchard asks for a block of flats that would act as an experiment in communal living. As a result twenty-two of the flats are of the 'minimum' design exhibited by Wells Coates at the British Industrial Art Exhibition in 1933.

The design and materials used were a result of the modernist movement allowing a 'freedom of form' found in concrete to provide the required smooth wall surfaces.

The structure consists of transverse framed concrete with 114mm-thick, reinforced concrete external walls, lined internally with an inch of cork insulation. This was pioneering at the time and probably the precursor to the 1935 innovation by Ove Arup and Tecton (at Highpoint) that integrated the architectural form with the structure.

The design of the four-storey block is simple, with columns arranged front and back at 3.25m intervals supporting single-span reinforced concrete T-beams carrying Helicon clay hollow-pot floors. Foundations are isolated tapered pads. Party walls consist of two lied skins of 'pumice' concrete blocks with cavity between. Internal partitions are Bricanion, a patented lathing plastered to a finished thickness of two inches.


  • Begun: Oct 1933
  • Completed: Jul 1934
  • Floor area: 1,365m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Address: Lawn Road, Belsize Park, London, NW3 2XR, United Kingdom

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