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Isokon and the Bauhaus – how Estonian plywood helped shape modern Britain

Authors Leyla Daybelge and Magnus Englund talk about their new book Isokon and the Bauhaus in Britain (Batsford, 2019). This illustrated talk will cover the story of the groundbreaking Isokon building, its artistic network and the legacy of Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and László Moholy-Nagy, the Bauhaus professors who lived there during the 1930s.

Built in 1934, the Grade I listed Isokon building on Lawn Road in Hampstead was Britain’s first modernist apartment building. Constructed from reinforced concrete, the flats were filled with the latest plywood furniture, and were hugely influential in pioneering the concept of minimal living. The Isokon flats, bar and dining club would become an extraordinary creative nexus for a network of international artists, writers, politicians, architects, designers and even spies.

Central to the story is the modernist furniture collection that Isokon founder Jack Pritchard created with the Bauhaus masters, manufactured at the vast A M Luther factory in Tallinn, Estonia through its British subsidiary Venesta. Estonian plywood played a key part in the development of British modernist architecture and design.
Limited seating. Please bring photo ID.

05 June 2019

18:30 -20:30

Admission: FREE

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Organiser Info

Image: Batsford


Estonian Embassy in London

44 Queen's Gate Terrace London SW75PJ

20 758 93 428

Gloucester Road; buses 49, 9, 10, 52, 452