Wells Coates was fortunate to be born into a family where his mother constantly pushes him to pursue his interest in architecture, as she, herself, was disciplined in architecture and was specially trained by Louis Sullivan. Despite having formal education in engineering and working for a period of time as a journalist for the Daily Express, his mother constantly motivated him chase after his architectural dreams. Wells Coates grew up in the Far East and designed his most significant buildings in Britain. He shifted to the United States and eventually Canada, where he spent the final days of his life, after the end of the Second World War. He welcomed Le Corbusier's theory that houses should not be machines where people reside in and designed some of the most dynamic and enlightening housing projects in London in the 1930s. Isokon in Hampstead was his most prominent apartment block. It was in this housing project where he exhibited his theory that with a carefully thought out and well arranged kitchen, dressing room and bathroom, one room living was achievable. Wells Coates also created his own architectural practice in 1928. He also joined forces with Maxwell Fry to create the British wing of think tank CIAM: Modern Architectural Research Group (MARS).