Grade II-listing for Art Deco south London home saved from demolition


“remarkably well-preserved” Art Deco house in south London saved from demolition earlier this year has now been given Grade II-listed status.

On the advice of Historic England, the government has added the 1930s five-bedroom house in leafy Herne Hill to its National Heritage List meaning only limited changes can be made to the property.

The property at number 10 Dorchester Drive is one of only two built versions known to exist in England. The house is based on winning designs submitted for the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition in 1934.

The green bathroom at number 10 Dorchester drive

/ Chris Redgrave

The home came on the market earlier this year for the first time in 60 years after its original owners died. It then sold for £1.6 million in February. According to campaign group the C20 Society, the new owner is a local developer who told neighbours he intended to pull the building down.

In a bid to protect it from demolition, the society submitted a listing bid to Historic England and also succesfully applied to Lambeth Council for a rare Building Preservation Notice (BPN) while it was being assessed by Historic England.

After coming into force with immediate effect, the BPN then remains in place for six months, until the Secretary of State decides either to list the building, or that it doesn’t meet the criteria for listing.

The sunroof at 10 Dorchester Drive

/ Chris Redgrave

Designed by Leslie H Kemp and Frederick E Tasker, architects known for their Art Deco cinemas, the plans were originally marketed as a home that could be built anywhere with customisable design features, offering clients on a modest budget an “affordable slice of modern living”.

Surviving original features include a ‘sun-trap’ bay window and the ‘luxurious’ mint green bathroom with separate shower. The compact but flexible plan allows for the ground-floor rooms to be opened out into one long entertainment space.

Its architectural details include curved doors original red Crittall windows, a ‘sunspan’ curved window in the lounge, a grand iron staircase and the original green bathroom.


In its reasons for listing the building, Historic England described the house as a “well-preserved and relatively early example of a modernistic house marketed towards adventurous clients”.

A spokesperson added: “This is a remarkable survival which transports us back to the architectural ideals of the 1930s where ‘dignified simplicity’ was favoured over excessive ornamentation. The significance of this building has now been recognised and any future change can be managed effectively, so that it can function as a modern home and retain its special character.”

After staying in the same ownership for 60 years, the property was recently sold and its unlisted status attracted the interest of property developers.

The interiors of 10 Dorchester Drive in Herne Hill, Lambeth

/ Chris Redgrave

The Herne Hill house sits in a cluster of twentieth century homes, over the road from two other Grade II-listed buildings on the same street, Dorchester Court and Dorchester House, which were also designed by Kemp and Tasker.

Together these buildings form an important group illustrating a range of 1930s approaches to residential buildings on a single street.

Another built version of the house, now altered and extended and functioning as a health centre, stands at 77 Addington Road in Bromley.

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