Born in Japan to Canadian parents, Wells Coates (1895-1958) studied to be an engineer and went on to design everything from shop interiors and boats to radios as well as buildings. He became one of the most influential figures in inter-war British architecture producing a series of buildings which seemed extremely radical in the conservative architectural climate. Among the most visible of these was the Lawn Road flats in London’s Belsize Park (1935), which was home to Walter Gropius, Agatha Christie and Henry Moore, and Embassy Court in Brighton – the building which is said to have introduced the idea of the penthouse to Britain.
Wells Coates was also responsible for the design of the ‘D’ handle, the simple bent tube that has since become such a ubiquitous product. izé reproduced Wells Coates’ original designs for recent restorations of both Lawn Road and Embassy Court.