ISOKON: Spies, Writers and Artists

lawn road flatsHave you ever wondered what Soviet secret agents Arnold Deutsch and Melita Norwood, Bauhaus exiles Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, and a number of artists, and writers such as Henry Moore, Nicholas Monsarrat and Aghata Christie have got in common? Neither have I. Read on if you’d like to find out.
This week, our latest book recommendation comes from one of our most faithful supporters, Katherine Pelton. This avid reader has a passion for urban planning, and visits the bookshop nearly every week searching for new titles to add to her extensive library. Her latest find is a quirky and unusual biography of one of London’s most important modernist buildings:
“The Lawn Road Flats or Isokon building, a celebrated structure of the Modern Movement by architect Wells Coates, is often included in writings about the architect, architectural theory or buildings of the period. ‘The Lawn Road Flats: Spies, Writers and Artists’ by David Burke (£25) is a rare glimpse into the life of the building. From the first inhabitants through to the aftermath of the Second World War, this book describes everything from complaints about the quality of flats, through to the intrigue and glamour that surrounded them. It provides a snap shot into what it was like to live there and is a reminder that we cannot always be sure of who our neighbours really are! K.P.”

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