Summer lounging

Model layout of the Isokon Long Chair

The summer heat has arrived and I’ve been looking longingly online at sunloungers. I can tell you that the one I truly want is the Isokon Long Chair, designed by Marcel Breuer –although technically it’s a lounger rather than a sun lounger.

I saw it when I visited the Isokon building and gallery in Hampstead, North London. The building dates back to the 1930s and was an early experiment in busy modern living. The modular apartments included a set of furniture designed by its Bauhaus tenants, and the Isokon Long Chair was my favourite piece.

I can imagine myself lounging on the long chair, reading a book in languid fashion. Its shape supposedly aids digestion if you choose to catch forty winks after a meal. That suits me right down to a tee.

The long chair’s design has been mimicked and copied many times over through the decades. In fact, we bought an Ikea bestseller – the Poäng armchair and footstool – for our Dad years ago. But I have to say that the Isokon Long Chair is far more elegant, with its smooth lines and tactile curves.

You can get one made for you at the Isokon Plus workshop, which as it turns out, has a sale on now.

~ Spotted Cow

Superlatives

Isokon design graphics

Isokon, Lawn Road Flats

Inside the Opera House

Sydney Opera House

We played at being tourists and went on the Sydney Opera House tour. I can’t believe we’ve never done it because it’s really interesting.

The Sydney Opera House on Bennelong Point is so iconic that it is impossible to imagine a conventional rectangular building standing there. But that almost happened, if one of the competition judges hadn’t asked to re-visit the reject pile. He found Jorn Utzon’s design submission and subsequently declared it the winner. Construction began even though they didn’t know how they were going to build the now-famous sail shell structures. What followed was a 15-year controversy caused by design & construction challenges, building delays and massive cost overruns (a 15-fold cost explosion vs estimates), which saw Utzon resign from the project before it was completed.

There is, however, a happy ending to the story. You’ll have to go on the tour to find out.

When you’re there, have a look closely at the sails. They’re tiled with bespoke cream and off-white tiles so that they appear white overall. If the tiles were pure white, it would be blinding when the sun reflects off it.

~ Spotted Cow

Looking out onto the harbourInside the Opera House Curves and linesOpera House sailsTiles