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IT's called Bauhaus -literally, "Built House" and it pioneered the modernist movement in architecture and design typified by the white box, flat roof, no frills look. It isn't to everyone's taste - even the mostly acerbic American critic Tom Wolfe mocked all that "whiteness & lightness & leanness & cleanness & bareness & spareness" but its legacy and influence are found across the world, from Tel Aviv to Chicago, from elegantly functional furniture to fitted kitchens.

The Bauhaus centenary which begins today, is [BE]ing celebrated internationally in exhibitions, events and new books. Germany is going to town on it, not least because the Bauhaus Story is a rare beacon of light in the country's dark early 20th-century history. For the visitor, tracing the development of Bauhaus is also a lesson in that wider history.

Nigel Richardson - The Telegraph 

In 1913, Walter Gropius, the founder of the BAUHAUS, argued that: "The new times demand their own expression. Exactly stamped from form devoid of all accident, clear contrasts, the ordering of members, the arrangement of like part in series, unity of form and colour…"

However, this mission was to be delayed and its subsequent direction altered by the horrors of industrial warfare, until 1919 when the Bauhaus was first established and despite the views of Tom Wolfe and others, Walter Gropius went on to achieve lasting acclaim in the USA, but then when he left Nazi Germany in the mid-nineteen-Thirties, he came first to London, where he lived in familiar surroundings - a modernist block of flats in Hampstead, created by the visionaries Molly and Jack Pritchard together with the Canadian architect Wells Coates, very much along Bauhaus lines. Gropius was joined there by fellow Bauhausler Marcel Breuer and Lazlo Moholy-Nagu, while residents in later times included the crime writer Agatha Christie


My soulmate Linnie and I well remember being invited with 
a few other Borehamwood Grammar School 6th Formers, to an evening visit to one of these Flats in Lawn Road, by our Headmistress Mrs. Cairns, who was obviously proud to live in one of them with her husband and demonstrate to us in the early 1960s, that which one could aspire to with the grounding of a Grammar School Education. Alas within only a few years the elitist mindset of our Government at the time, decided in their wisdom to abandon the IDEA of Grammar Schools for ALL, to concentrate on only those that could afford to pay for them • plus ça change plus c'est la même chose

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Comment by Michael Grove on March 31, 2019 at 12:27

  The story of Isokon part two by Skandium - with
  Chris Mc Court of Isokon Plus and Barber & Osgerby

Comment by Michael Grove on March 31, 2019 at 13:00

    IT's very gratifying to see that the 1960's standards of

   workmanship established by Jack Pritchard are being

   maintained today but alas my own version has been

   "put into storage " so to speak.

Comment by Michael Grove on March 31, 2019 at 15:38

  ‘Goodness, love, art; they are in our heart and in us, and
   they will not be satisfied by little shows of propaganda
 
                                        Letter from Ernö Goldfinger, 1931
   
   Within a short walking distance of Jack Pritchard's Isokan Flats    
   in Lawn Road, Ernö Goldfinger's 2 Willow Road was always
   intended to be a family home. The Goldfingers initially wanted
   to buy the site of 2 Willow Road as a way to invest some of   
   Ursula’s wealth in a home, and to give Ernö a chance to  
   demonstrate his skill and vision as an architect.

   Architects had fewer opportunities to design their own houses
   in the 1930s than after the war, and these were mostly in the 
   countryside. For modern architects like Goldfinger, building
   flats was a more socially conscientious exercise than
   building an individual house.
 
   Yet Goldfinger’s plans for a block of flats with studios were
   initially rejected by the London County Council in 1936. He
   then had to reconcile the demands of construction, space,
   and social life with the guidelines from the authorities, whilst
   retaining its concrete frame. The final design was then submitted
   at the end of 1937, but the situation was far from resolved.
Comment by Michael Grove on March 31, 2019 at 18:23

The Grade I listed Isokon Building, also known as Lawn Road Flats, Hampstead, London NW3, was almost lost to the nation but luckily saved ten years ago. Now the Isokon Gallery Trust has fulfilled an intention of that rescue project by creating a public gallery in the building, exhibiting the story of the Britain’s first modernist block of flats and how members of the Bauhaus, Soviet spies, artists, architects and authors including Agatha Christie came to live there.

The Lawn Road Flats – also know as the Isokon Building – was
 the creation of Jack & Molly Pritchard and architect Wells Coates. Opening on 9th July 1934, it was not only the first modernist block of flats in Britain, but also the home of notable émigrés, including Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, Marcel Breuer, designer of modernist furniture, and László Maholy-Nagy, head teacher of art at the Bauhaus school.

It also attracted tenants like Arnold Deutsch, the NKVD (KGB) spy and recruiter of the Cambridge Five (a group which included Kim Philby), an episode that inspired John le Carré when he wrote Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. Between 1941 and 1947 the building was the home of Agatha Christie, so it seems fitting that she wrote her only spy novel, N or M, when she lived there.



Comment by Michael Grove on March 31, 2019 at 19:40

Bauhaus took art and architecture back to its basic principles of functionality, that art should serve the needs of society not individual whim and Gropius’s great manifesto brings together the characteristics of the modernist movement — rationally articulated pure spaces, innovative usage of new materials such as glass-curtain walls in facades, horizontal windows and an absence of ornamentation.

The global design for all elements is a spatial conception presided over by the interrelation between the interior and exterior by means of the glass wall, principles soon adopted and developed internationally in housing projects.

Comment by Michael Grove on April 1, 2019 at 18:19

FOUNDED by renowned architect Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919, the Bauhaus — literally “house of construction” in German — was initially conceived with the idea of creating an academy where all the arts would coexist.

Experimental, and with the emphasis on the theoretical, the Bauhaus represented an opportunity to extend beauty and quality to every home through well-designed and industrially produced products and structures.

The Bauhaus style went on to become one of the most influential currents in design, modernist architecture and art, and architectural education and ever since it has had a profound influence upon developments in those spheres, as well as in graphic, interior and industrial design and typography.

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