The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Lawn Road Flats, Hampstead, by Wells Coates, 1934
Click to see full size; Photo Nicholas Kane, courtesy Avanti Architects

100 Buildings 100 Years

1934: Lawn Road Flats, London

Status: Listed Grade I
Condition: Good condition
Type: Housing
Architect: Wells Wintemute Coates for Rosemary and Jack Pritchard
Location: Lawn Road, Belsize Park, London, NW3 2XD

There it presides in Lawn Road. A pinky-cream painted block of flats with extravagantly cantilevered balconies, it stands as a built reproach to the older forms of domestic architecture it overlooks.

Completed in 1934 this was a determined attempt to re-cast architecture in the light of the new realities of domestic life and urban living that had emerged since the Great War, and that had, until then, not been given satisfying form. Together clients and architect created a rigorously-planned and intricately-serviced environment in which those who had hitherto been unable to feel ‘at home’ now could; an experience which the block’s recent renovation now brings to a new generation of residents. But it is much more than a feat of problem-solving. Coates’s utmost mastery of materials, space and form (and this his first complete building) and their synthesis into a distinctive language of architecture make this a real turning point in the development of English modernism.

by Elizabeth Darling

Listing description

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