March 7, 2014 6:17 pm

Barometer: brand new retro designs

Traditions and patterns dusted off for spring
Clockwise from top: V&A tea towel, Pantone Universe coffee maker, Windsor rocker, Sheila Bownas 'Edwin' cushion, The Fifty Eight sofa

Clockwise from top: V&A tea towel, Pantone Universe coffee maker, Windsor rocker, Sheila Bownas 'Edwin' cushion and The Fifty Eight sofa

V&A tea towel

£6.50, available for pre-order from April, “Bird and Rosehip” pattern, vandashop.com

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IN Pursuits

. . .

The Fifty Eight sofa

large sofa from £1,830, from March 24, G Plan and Hemingway Design, gplanvintage.co.uk

. . .

Pantone Universe coffee maker

£25, vintage blue, whitbreadwilkinson.com

. . .

Windsor rocker

by Katie Walker £2,295, steam-bent ash, heals.co.uk

. . .

Sheila Bownas

“Edwin” cushion £55, from an archive pattern, sheilabownas.com

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Design files

The Isokon Building

Lawn Road Flats in Belsize Park, London, also known as the Isokon Building after its commissioning firm, was constructed in 1933 under Wells Coates’s blueprint for practical “modern living”. It has since lived through war, dangerous disrepair and, as a new book details, espionage, with the Soviet spies Arnold Deutsch, Jurgen Kuczynski and Melita Norwood residing there in the 1930s and 1940s.

Its strong, swooping, reinforced concrete lines still look defiantly elegant today, and in The Lawn Road Flats, historian David Burke reveals the staggeringly rich artistic and political machinations that took place within. Bauhaus exiles Walter Gropius, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Marcel Breuer lived here, as did Henry Moore and Agatha Christie.

Today the flats are mostly leased to key workers by the Notting Hill Housing Trust, which undertook badly needed repairs to the Grade I-listed building in 2003.

 

One of the newer residents is Magnus Englund, managing director of the Scandi design store Skandium. He moved into the Lawn Road penthouse last year and was inspired to look at the archive of Isokon furniture that was made to furnish the original apartments.

New pieces from this collaboration with Isokon will be released next month, joining already familiar designs such as Marcel Breuer’s “Long Chair”.

‘The Lawn Road Flats: Spies, Writers and Artists’ by David Burke is published by Boydell Press on March 20 (£25). The new pieces in the Isokon furniture range will be launched through Skandium next month

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