I suspect this might be of interest. An apartment in the 1930s Wells Coates Isokon Building, London NW3, is now for sale.
It’s actually cheaper than you might expect of something of this pedigree. That’s for two reasons. First off, this is a studio apartment. Not necessarily the biggest of spaces. However, apartments in this block were designed to be modest in terms of floor space. Secondly, this is an 80 per cent purchase, with an ‘assured rent’ for the other 20 per cent.
Another reason is that it does need what the agent describes as a ‘certain amount of modernisation’. From the imagery, it doesn’t look like a great deal of work, but as ever, a viewing will give you a better picture.
That’s the small print. The headline here is the opportunity to live in the Bauhaus-inspired Isokon. An icon of modernism and, for many, the dream in terms of a living space. So many people want to live in the Isokon and so many famous names have passed through its doors. This was a centre for intellectual life in north London and still has that pull today.
Its fame means that you probably know it as one of the most important modern movement buildings in the UK and that it was built to a design by Wells Coates in 1934.
It was also the first apartment block to be constructed mainly from reinforced concrete. Its significance means that the block has a rare Grade I listing. But the building hasn’t had an easy life. The original owner sold the flats in the late 1960s, which resulted in modifications to the building.
It was then sold on to Camden Council and deteriorated more over the years. But a saviour was on the horizon. After a lengthy campaign to bring the building back to its best, it was sold to Notting Hill Housing Group, working alongside the noted Avanti Architects, led architect John Allan.
As a result, it was renovated back to its best in 2004, which resulted in 36 flats along with a permanent exhibition space, which can be found in what was the building’s garage. A Job very well done.
Of course, apartments will vary inside due to the personal tastes of owners. But the ones I have seen tend to go down a similar and consistent road in terms of finish and fittings. Except one. You might recall the magnificent penthouse I featured a couple of years back. That really was something special.
And in its own way, so are all the others – including this one. As I said earlier, this is a studio apartment, one that you will find on the second floor. Space is pretty much the main studio room (incorporating the bedroom) overlooking the Belsize Wood Nature Reserve, along with a full-size bathroom and a separate fitted kitchen that’s modern but with the ‘look’ of the original era. Again, I’m using the word modest, but that was always the case. Back in the 1930s, this was a place to live rather than entertain. It would be rare for residents actually to cook and eat at home.
In total, the property measures circa 272 sq. ft. and is being sold with a leasehold of 81 years and vacant possession.
So not the biggest of spaces, but it will be snapped up quickly. According to Hamish Gilfeather, Associate Director at John D Wood & Co.: ‘You will step into a piece of history when viewing this rarely available gem in the iconic Isokon Building. While a touch of modernisation is in order for this apartment, there is potential aplenty. This flat promises to be a splendid first-time buy, combining heritage and contemporary living seamlessly – this is a unique opportunity not to be missed.’
If it appeals, the guide price for this apartment is £340,000.
Images and details courtesy of John D. Wood & Co. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.