Use of cookies We use cookies to improve your experience. By using Architecture.com you agree to our terms of use and use of cookies
Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections
Talks and lectures

A Night at the Isokon

An evening of short talks at the famous Lawn Road flats in Hampstead.

For one night only visitors will get inside the Isokon to hear from experts on the history of this iconic building and its avant-garde residents. Organised around two sessions, the evening will feature contributions from RIBA curators Valeria Carullo and Pete Collard, authors Magnus Englund and Leyla Daybelge, alongside special insights from John Allan, former Director of Avanti Architects, British architectural historian Elizabeth Darling and Hampstead spy ring expert Stewart Purvis.

Tickets for each session are sold separately.

21st birthday party of the Isokon, 9th July 1955, Pritchard Papers, UEA
21st birthday party of the Isokon, 9th July 1955, Pritchard Papers, UEA

In Session 1 (6pm to 7.30pm) we will focus on the personalities living in and around the Isokon building. From the pioneering British couple Jack and Molly Pritchard, who commissioned Wells Coates to design the flats, to the Bauhaus emigrés Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and László Moholy-Nagy who resided in the building in the 1930s, the flats were a nexus of London’s avant-garde cultural elite.

Speakers in this session include:

  • Valeria Carullo, RIBA Curator, The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection
  • Pete Collard, RIBA Curator of Exhibitions
  • Leyla Daybelge, Co-Author of Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain
  • Magnus Englund, Co-Author of Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain
  • Stewart Purvis, Creator of the 'Hampstead Spies Walk', former ITN Editor-In-Chief
Isokon Flats, Lawn Road, Hampstead, London: sitting room in J. C. Pritchard's penthouse. RIBA Collections
Isokon Flats, Lawn Road, Hampstead, London: sitting room in J. C. Pritchard's penthouse. RIBA Collections

In Session 2 (7.30pm to 9pm) we focus on the Isokon as a significant icon of British Modernism. Completed in 1934, the Grade I listed building was a pioneering model for communal urban living and soon became a home to three Bauhaus émigrés. The presence of these modernist figures from the continent helped to galvanise enthusiasm among a community of young architects in the UK, making Britain the epicentre of progressive contemporary architecture in Europe.

Speakers in this session include:

  • John Allan, Chairman of the Isokon Gallery Trust and Former Director of Avanti Architects
  • Valeria Carullo, RIBA Curator, The Robert Elwall Photographs Collection
  • Pete Collard, RIBA Curator of Exhibitions
  • Elizabeth Darling, Reader in Architectural History, Oxford Brookes University
MARS Group Exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, London: 'Needs for Work' exhibit. Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections
MARS Group Exhibition, New Burlington Galleries, London: 'Needs for Work' exhibit. Architectural Press Archive / RIBA Collections

Please note there is no lift access to the Penthouse.

This event is part of the RIBA exhibition Beyond Bauhaus - Modernism in Britain 1933-66. View the full season of events.