chapter  4
29 Pages

New Homes for Old

The Isokon Flats had been conceived of primarily as an attempt to articulate the future

form of the middle-class home and to influence the practice of the speculative builder.

Yet, as the Pritchards’ overtures to local and central government politicians suggest,

there was also the hope that the Isokon prototype might exert an influence over a state

social housing policy which, since 1930, had been focused on the problem of slum

clearance and promised a major programme of building in the years ahead. Silkin’s

terse rebuffal of their invitation, however, was a sign of the challenge British modernists

faced if they were to achieve such an influence.