Isokon Gallery

Isokon Gallery, London: Address, Phone Number, Isokon Gallery Reviews: 5/5

Isokon Gallery
5
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The Isokon Gallery is a permanent exhibition telling the remarkable story of the Isokon building, the pioneering modern apartment block opened in 1934 as an experiment in new ways of urban living.
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1-2 hours
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5.0
16 reviews
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Avux99
Cheshire, UK433 contributions
Modernism, it was the future
May 2021 • Solo
I find 20th Century modernist architecture really interesting and frequently beautiful, so a visit to the Isokon was on the agenda! The Isokon Gallery is small, but the people here are very knowledgeable. I followed up my short visit here with the Hampstead Modernist Trail leaflet route (the Isokon sells the leaflet) which took a further couple of hours or so. Enjoyable day if you don’t mind a bit of walking ;)
Written October 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Adrian B
Bakewell, UK613 contributions
Fascinating place
Oct 2018 • Friends
This icon of British 1930s architecture is a fascinating place to visit and is easy to find in leafy Hampstead. The museum is excellent.

I shall be buying the book about the building next year!
Written October 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hazel F
London, UK11 contributions
Small but fascinating gallery
Sep 2018
This is a very small (formerly the garage of the Isokon building) gallery Isokon is a Modernist building of note and is Grade 1 listed. It has an amazing history well documented inside the gallery. Former residents included Agatha Christie, a number of Soviet spies and for lovers of the Bauhaus movement it is of special note. On the weekend of 22/23 September 2018 one of the apartments can be viewed during Open House Weekend.
Written September 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2018LisaH2018
London, UK2 contributions
Beautiful building with excellent gallery
Aug 2018 • Couples
This is a fantastic modernist building and it's had a fascinating history, which is told in the small gallery/museum, located in what used to be the garage. There is plenty to read, particularly about the creation of the building itself and its former residents, and the information is presented beautifully and imaginatively. There is also a small shop with a cleverly curated selection of items designed to appeal to lovers of modernism. I would recommend the Isokon Gallery to anyone who's interested in architecture and history - a joy to visit.
Written August 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ajerseypatron
London, UK21 contributions
Fascinating place for a quick visit
Jul 2017 • Couples
There is not a lot to see in this museum, which is the former garage space of the building. However, what IS there is interesting and educational. There are very descriptive signs to accompany the photos around the museum, and there are a few samples of key furniture items as well. It's a shame they don't have a mock up of one of the original apartments, but perhaps they will in the future? Free entry, nice leafy setting, and a pleasant way to spend an hour or two in Hampstead.
Written July 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rutwe
Exeter, UK398 contributions
Detailed fascinating exhibition
Jun 2017 • Couples
I really like this building and its history and was thrilled when I heard a gallery had opened. There are lots of historic letters, photos, plans, examples of Isokon furniture and a couple of small rooms (kitchen, dressing room) as they were in the flats. There is a lot to read here and much of it is fascinating about the writers, artists and spies who lived in Isokon. There is also a good small bookshop and merchandise area which has lots of fab things to buy (modernist map of housing estates in Camden etc). The gallery is free and is walking distance to Hampstead Heath so you can spend a lovely morning doing both as we did.
Written June 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gareth P
Croydon, UK84 contributions
A Modernist Must
Apr 2017 • Friends
Hampstead is a genteel part of the capital but during the 1930s it was a hotbed of radical design.
The Isokon Gallery is a small exhibition space, formerly the garage space, attached to the modernist Isokon Building, also known as Lawn Road Flats, which tells the story of the building, from the commissioning by Jack and Molly Pritchard to its restoration and reopening after years of decline.
The block was designed by Wells Coates and contained mostly 'minimum' flats formed from 'standardisation of parts, the rationalisation of process and methods and a modern industrial design based on the principle of conspicuous economy.'
The Pritchards wanted to break free from the expectations of the middle classes, so the design was required to provide a new way of living for young professionals, with an emphasis on non-domestic socialising.
The list of residents reads like a whos who of cultural progressives including architect Walter Gropius and other main members of the Bauhuas, plus a number of Soviet spies!
The gallery tells all this history using personal artefacts and has also recreated a dressing room and a kitchen from items salvaged during the renovation. The block is Grade I Listed and a radically important building. Entry is free and there's a small space for books and architecture-related merchandise which is staffed by knowledgeable and helpful individuals. Anyone interested in modernist architecture or 20th century social history would enjoy it immensely.
Written May 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lonewolf44
Kingston upon Thames, UK1,253 contributions
Bauhaus in London
Sep 2016 • Solo
I've seen the Bauhaus in Germany and I knew that many of its teachers fled from the Nazis. What I didn't know was that they lived in London and created an amazing example of modernist Bauhaus architecture near Belsize Park tube station. The building has had quite an eventful history. The free gallery gives you a pretty good resume and showcases some of the Isokon furniture. Unless you go during Open House weekend in September (the Isokon usually participates) or you know someone who lives inside you won't be able to see any of the apartments as the building is now owned by a housing association and every flat is occupied by public sector workers. If you can get in, it's incredible to see how the flats and corridors have been faithfully restored to their full 1930s glory - the Penthouse flat at the top is particularly impressive. Afterwards you could download the Hampstead Modernist Architecture Walking Trail (as I did) and enjoy a good hike around some striking houses tucked away in this suburb.
Written September 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mbj2016
London, UK7 contributions
Insight into the 1930s
Jul 2016 • Solo
This small but excellent gallery follows the building and subsequent history of the Lawn Road flats - an experiment in middle class social living in the mid 1930s with close links to the modernist movement of the Bauhaus.
Rescued from almost total disintegration in 2000 the pale pink Grade 1 listed building which sails down Lawn Road like an ocean liner, now comprises of the 20 original 'minimalist' studio flats along with eight larger flats, a penthouse and the gallery.
The latter sets it in the context of 1930s 'arty' Hampstead - Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Agatha Christie and her archeologist husband and a whole coven of Soviet spies were all residents while two streets away lived artists Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Ben Nicholson.
Entry to the gallery is free and it open Saturdays and Sundays from Easter to October. Also close by is Erno Goldfinger's 2 Willow Road - and you can also look at the outside of a number of other notable houses from the period in the immediate vicinity.
Very well worth a visit.
Written July 31, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kirk M
Edmonton, Canada1,945 contributions
Ghosts of Artists and Writers!
Jun 2016 • Friends
This 1930s Modernist building stands out from others on a street in lower Hampstead. It's pure white, sleek and streamlined with long strips of balconies, and it looks like the side of one of those Trans-Atlantic ocean liners that people sailed back and forth on in the 1920s and 30s.
It's been restored after many years of neglect---and it's about time! The building is now occupied again. The gallery, in the former garage, is fascinating because it really gives you a thorough overview of how important this building is to 20th-century architecture and interior design. It also has displays about the well-known people who lived here. Many lived in the smallish apartments in the 1930s in a semi-communal way. The architects Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius resided here for a while, as did George Orwell. And Agatha Christie lived here in the 1940s and wrote some of her best mysteries here. On a nearby street, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore had their studios, and Piet Mondrian lived on the street for a few years in the 1930s. (Try to find these locations, to make your art-literary outing more satisfying!)
The Isokon, and the area around it, is fascinating for its rich 20th-century artistic-world associations. I'd highly recommend seeking it out!
Written July 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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