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Blue Plaque unveiled on Isokon Building

9 July 2018, 12.00 noon
Isokon Building
Lawn Road, London NW32XD


COMMEMORATION


Hungarian Bauhaus visionaries
honoured with English Heritage Blue Plaque

Following Bauhaus-founder Walter Gropius' fled in 1934 from Nazi Germany to London, Bauhaus pioneers Marcel Breuer and László Moholy-Nagy also moved to London in 1935 where they lived in the Isokon building for two years. On July 9th this distinguished trio has been honoured with an English Heritage Blue Plaque commemorating their stay in London.

– Plaque unveiled on daringly modern 1930s Isokon Building –

László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) and Walter Gropius (1883-1969) – all designers and teachers at the Bauhaus, the vastly influential German art school – have been commemorated with an English Heritage blue plaque. The plaque was unveiled on the Grade 1 listed Isokon Building, originally known as Lawn Road Flats, in Belsize Park, where the trio lived and worked in the 1930s.

It was in Weimar in 1919 that Walter Gropius founded the Staatliches Bauhaus, to give it its full name – an art school which combined crafts and the fine arts, and was noted around the world for its pioneering approaches to design and its supposed links to political radicalism. Through keeping in constant touch with the rapid advances in ideas, new materials and technology, the Bauhaus created ground-breaking designs which had a lasting influence. Its key players also acquired a political reputation which made them unpopular with the oncoming Nazi regime.

Marcel Breuer initially attended the Bauhaus school as a student before becoming director of furniture workshops in 1924, while László Moholy-Nagy joined the staff in 1923, and edited the house magazine of the Bauhaus and its fourteen books, the Bauhausbücher, for which series he wrote on film, photography and architecture. After leaving the Bauhaus, all three went on to have successful careers in the fields of design and architecture, and all lived in the striking Isokon Building in Belsize Park. Designed to provide low cost accommodation for the increasingly mobile and single professional, the Isokon Building was completed in 1934, and was the first block of flats to be built in Britain in the fully modern style, becoming a landmark in progressive architectural design. In 1936, the building's communal kitchen was converted into the Isobar restaurant, to a design by Marcel Breuer and FRS Yorke, and became a creative hub for residents including Agatha Christie, Naum Slutzky and for artists such as Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth who lived nearby.

History of London’s Blue Plaques Scheme: The London-wide blue plaques scheme has been running for 150 years. The idea of erecting 'memorial tablets' was first proposed by William Ewart MP in the House of Commons in 1863. It had an immediate impact on the public imagination, and in 1866 the (Royal) Society of Arts founded an official plaques scheme. The Society erected its first plaque – to poet, Lord Byron – in 1867. The blue plaques scheme was subsequently administered by the London County Council (1901-65) and by the Greater London Council (1965-86), before being taken on by English Heritage in 1986.

Please find more photos about the event on our Facebook page.

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