The Isokon Gallery is located in the vacant shell of the former garage of the Grade I listed Isokon Building in Camden. The main building was previously restored by Avanti for Notting Hill Housing, winning the prestigious RIBA Crown Conservation Award (click here for details).
The Gallery project was the realisation of Avanti’s original ambition to create a place where the Isokon story could be told. John Allan (former Director of Avanti) and Fiona Lamb set up the Isokon Gallery Trust as a charitable enterprise with Magnus England, managing director of furniture store Skandium. The Trust, working in partnership with the National Trust, has been funded entirely by charitable donations and sponsorship.
The Isokon Building was designed by Canadian architect Wells Coates for Jack and Molly Pritchard, and was a pioneering experiment in progressive urban living. Distinguished residents have included Walter Gropius (founder of the Bauhaus), Marcel Breuer, Agatha Christie and the architect James Stirling. The Gallery contains period furniture exhibits, historical memorabilia, a large-scale model of the building and two facsimile Isokon rooms that have been modelled using original 1934 fittings salvaged from the building rescue project.
The Gallery is open 11am-4pm on weekends between March and October. In addition it has become part of several educational programmes and used for student seminars, lectures and small receptions. A gift shop offers a range of related items and books, with the proceeds going to the upkeep of the Gallery.
Or further details go to the Gallery website here.
Camden Design Award 2015
Docomomo International Award 2021 – Winner
Award-winning gallery set up by Avanti
‘The Gallery has used a former garage space to evoke the story of the Isokon flats in terms of the materials – laminated and formed timber – and personal witnesses to the aspirations of this experiment in modernist design which also sought new ways of shared living. The gallery as an artefact itself inspires as well as informs: its quality a reminder of the aim of modernism to make high quality design as widely available as possible.’
Camden Design Awards judging panel
Location London, UK
Photographer Tom De Gay