Isokon Trust

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

See arrangement.

Administrative / Biographical History

Isokon Trust was founded in 1999 to find an organisation interested in funding Lawn Road Flats' (LRF) restoration and refurbishment and to educate and promote the history of the building. Marco Goldschmied was Patron of the Trust and Chris Flannery was Founder Trustee and Chairman. Other trustees were Mark Pimlott & Trevor Horne. In 2001 the Trust gained charitable status from the Charity Commission.

LRF opened in 1934. The building was designed by Wells Coates and commissioned by Jack Pritchard. In 1969 the building was sold to The New Statesman and Nation, and in May 1972 it changed hands and became the property of The London Borough of Camden. After some years the building fell into disrepair.

Refurbishment work began in late 1995 under the direction of architects John McAslan & Partners. They were commissioned by English Heritage to draw up a 4 year, £1 million repair and refurbishment plan. The architects repaired the leaking roof and balconies, carried out minimum upgrades to five flats and restored one, no. 22, to its full specification, at a cost of £20,000. The refurbishment programme was put on hold after this first phase.

In May 2001 Notting Hill Housing Group (NHHG) was chosen from a list of 11 bidders to purchase and restore the grade 1 listed building. The restoration project was awarded to Avanti Architects. It was estimated that £4 million would be needed to restore the flats back to their former 1934 glory.

A single flat, no. 15 (Walter Gropius' flat) was renovated with original fittings to serve as an historical record.

In September 2001 an Open House weekend was held, the event attracted nearly 4,000 visitors to the building. An exhibition was held in the Walter Gropius flat with furniture supplied by Isokon Plus and some personal pieces belonging to Chris Flannery.

Renovations on the rest of the building continued from May 2003. Most of the flats were refurbished with like-for-like materials.

Private sales of 10 apartments and one penthouse flat took place on 29/2/04. The one-bedroom penthouse, formerly the flat of Jack and Molly Pritchard, sold for £525,000. The remaining 25 flats were designated for shared ownership by key workers.

Under the guidelines of English Heritage, the 4-car garage on the ground floor was gifted by NHHG to IT for public exhibition space.

On 22/4/04 IT and Notting Hill Home Ownership (bid partners) submitted a bid to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the fitting out of the gallery and the purchase of flat no. 15. Two months later on 3/6/04 the bid was withdrawn. Problems relating to planning, and change of use from residential to commercial were cited.

Arrangement

  • IT/1 Trust declarations and legal, 1999-2011
  • IT/2 Isokon Trust minutes, 2004-2011
  • IT/3 Chris Flannery's file, 1998-2003
  • IT/4 Current & potential members, 2000-2006
  • IT/5 For mailing list entry, 1999-200?
  • IT/6 Postcards and publications, 1999-2004
  • IT/7 Second stage tender submission by Notting Hill Housing Group [2001]
  • IT/8 Refurbishing of show flats, 2003-2004
  • IT/9 Samples of old floor coverings at LRF
  • IT/10 Marketing, 1999-2002
  • IT/11 Gallery lease, 2003-2006
  • IT/12 Isokon Gallery, 2003-2004
  • IT/13 Museum - fit out & running, 2003-2006
  • IT/14 Funding - hot favourites, 2000-2004
  • IT/15 Heritage Lottery Fund, 1999-2004
  • IT/16 Concrete Society Award, 2004
  • IT/17 Fundraising: Flat 15 and the Isokon Gallery, 2004-2005
  • IT/18 Press, 1991-2004
  • IT/19 Mixed info: Open House, letterheads, correspondence, 2001-2005
  • IT/20 Plans, 1995-2003

Conditions Governing Access

Other than where a specific access restriction is noted, the collection is open for consultation in the Archives Department by appointment during its advertised opening hours.

Acquisition Information

This collection was gifted to the UEA by Chris and Lone McCourt in July 2009. The papers arrived at UEA three years later in August 2012.

Chris McCourt was a Friend of the Isokon Trust. In February 2005, on the resignation of Chris Flannery, he was appointed Trustee and Chairman of the Trust. Chris McCourt was also Director of Isokon Plus, licensed to manufacture and develop the original Isokon Ltd furniture.

Other Finding Aids

Archivist's Note

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Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions can be supplied in hard copy or digital format subject to physical condition and the terms of deposit. A charge is made for this service. Copyright restrictions may apply and the advice of the Archives department should be sought for any use of reproductions other than personal research.

Related Material

The Pritchard Papers, held at the same repository

Geographical Names