Our re-issue of the Isokon Occasional Table has been launched to co-inside with Phaidon’s publication, Walter Gropius – An Illustrated Biography.
Originally designed in 1936 by Walter Gropius during his period as ‘Controller of Design’ at Isokon, the occasional table was the only item designed by Gropius to reach production stage, with only twelve copies made.
‘Notice especially the ingenious use of plywood in the legs, and how staunchness and stability are achieved not with extra weight but by perfect balance.’ - copy from the original sale leaflet, 1936.
Of the twelve made, three were sold for 30 shillings each, the rest were bombed when the Isokon warehouse received a direct hit during WWII. For years Jack Pritchard was unsuccessful in his attempts to trace the three surviving tables, until he discovered one still in the possession of the original buyer. This single table was gifted to the Isokon Archive in 1985, held at the Sainsbury's Centre at University of East Anglia. The Isokon Occasional Table may be Gropius’ last surviving achievement in the field of furniture design, having immigrated to the USA in 1937 to become Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard.
The original design was made from Birch Plywood with a Rexine Top, a material little used today with its production ceasing in 2005. Today’s table is still made from Birch Plywood with the edition of a charcoal Linoleum top.
Birch Plywood / Linoleum