Isokon plywood table/stool 1930s

Walter Gropius (1883-1969) Venesta

This rare variation of the Isokon stool/table was an adaptation designed by Walter Gropius during the mid-1930s whilst he was in exile in London. During that period he worked for the Isokon group alongside British architects like Maxwell Fry and others. Their designs continued the dogmas of modernist ethics begun earlier at the Bauhaus; simplicity, economy and aesthetic beauty.

Alistair Greave’s 2004 book Isokon for Ease for Ever describes this rare variation of the plywood stool that was used in the canteen at the Isokon building in London as having tighter designed cut out sections (Greave, 2004).

It retains its original circular tray built with a thinner plywood edge (they normally always have thicker edged trays to prevent warping) The thin edge is thought to have been part of Gropius’s redesign. The base unit has a Venesta label and the tray is stamped Venesta.