Two buildings on show for Open House this weekend

Two of our most attractive buildings will be opening their doors this weekend as part of Open House London, which offers free entry to the capital's best buildings.

The Isokon Building, also known as Lawn Road Flats, was originally built in 1934 to provide low-cost accommodation to the increasingly mobile and single professional and was the first International Style apartment building to be built in Britain.

The Camden landmark became home to many architects, designers, intellectuals and writers. Three legendary designers of the Bauhaus art school in Germany, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, were celebrated with a blue plaque at the venue in July.

Two years later its communal kitchen was converted into the Isobar restaurant and became a creative hub for residents such as Agatha Christie and Naum Slutzky as well as for artists like Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth who lived nearby.

Over the decades it fell into serious decline until we bought the building in 2002 and, working with English Heritage, the Isokon Trust and Avanti Architects, restored the building to 35 homes, many for key workers, and an impressive penthouse. The building also has its own gallery.

The Isokon, in Lawn Road, NW3 2XD, will be open from 11am to 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday, but with a maximum of 10 visitors at a time, so queuing is likely.
Cheviot Gardens, in South Norwood, is a fantastic example of modern retirement living, providing 84 apartments complemented by stunning communal space, as 24-hour on-site care team, restaurant and café.

The scheme, which has recently been highly commended for Best Design at the National Housing Awards, replaced dated and unsuitable sheltered housing with existing residents having the chance to get involved in the planning and design.

Apartments provide a “Home for Life” enabling residents to live independently in their own home with care and support that meets their specific needs, with full wheelchair access and strong sense of community thanks to the garden and regular activities.

The mixed tenure nature of the scheme provides 66 homes for people nominated by London Borough of Lambeth, and 18 made available through Older Person Shared Ownership.

Cheviot Gardens, in Cheviot Road, SE27 0SU, is open from 1-5pm on Saturday.