Former residents of this famous London landmark include Agatha Christie, Marcel Breuer, and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius – not to mention a cache of Soviet spies. Apartments at the Isokon Building in leafy Hampstead are much coveted but rarely available, meaning this studio apartment is likely to draw a lot of attention.
Isokon furniture founder Jack Pritchard and his wife Molly commissioned Wells Coates to design them a modernist apartment block in 1934 that would be a ‘machine for living’, following the principles of Le Corbusier.
All of the building’s 34 apartments, save for the Pritchard’s penthouse, were modest in size and minimal in flourishes (most didn’t have working kitchens because the Isokon promoted a new kind of living for modern professionals that embraced entertaining over housekeeping. An entire floor of the Isokon was devoted to the communal kitchen and hangout spot, The Isobar, which also serviced the flats via dumb waiters.)
Christie famously likened the exterior of the modernist building to a cruiseliner for its glistening white concrete skin and curvilinear balconies, and it was awarded Grade I designation in 1999. However, it’s not been without its share of hardship: The Isokon served as a halfway house in the 1970s and was derelict by 2003 when it underwent an award-winning restoration by Avanti Architects in 2004 that returned its former glory.
This second-floor studio apartment is for sale via John D Wood for £340,000, as an 80% purchase and 20% ‘assured rent’ of £142.40 per month. It is on the dinkier side at just 272 sq ft, but it has a full kitchen and bathroom and a decent living space overlooking Belsize Park Woods.
According to the listing, the London property needs a ‘certain amount of modernisation’, though from the photographs, its current interiors are in keeping with the modest origins of the building.