Ref NoDCS/2/2/4
TitleColin Lucas
Admin/Biog HistoryColin Anderson Lucas (1906-1984) was an English designer and architect. He was born in 1906 to Ralph Lucas, an engineer and inventor, and Mary Anderson Lucas (née Juler), a composer. His grandfather was the managing director of a telephone construction and maintenance company. This creative family background provided Lucas with practical training which complemented the more theoretical training that he received at the Architectural School at Trinity College at Cambridge University (1925-1928) where he was tutored by George Checkley (1893-1960).

On completing his studies in 1928, Lucas joined his father's construction company (creating Lucas, Lloyd and Co., Architects and Builders) and they embarked on building a private weekend home for the family, called Noah's house, as well as a boathouse. In 1930 Lucas was married to Dione Wilson, the daughter of the arts and crafts architect and jeweller, Henry Wilson. In 1933 Lucas was asked by Wells Coates to become the second architect of Unit One, an avant-garde artist association which was interested in investigating the nature of contemporary spirit in artwork.

On the 22nd May 1934, the Connell, Ward and Lucas architectural practice was officially formed when Lucas joined two architects from New Zealand, Amyas Connell (1901-1980) and Basil Ward (1902-1976) who were already in partnership as Connell and Ward. The new practice lasted until 1939, ceasing trading at the outbreak of the Second World War (1939-1945) and in just five years they designed over twenty private houses and were involved in many other projects.

During the Second World War, Lucas used his expertise in reinforced concrete construction at the British Research Station in Princes Risborough. At the end of the war Lucas moved to Manhattan, U.S.A., to join his wife and two sons, who had moved out of London due to the war, originally staying with relatives of Lucas, Sir Gerald and Margaret Campbell in Ottawa, Canada. Dione had also agreed to take three sons of Ursula Walford (friend and client of Lucas of Frognal House) with her to Canada. Dione had already made a name for herself in London after setting up a cooking school and restaurant in Chelsea, a second restaurant on Wigmore Street and also won the Grand Diplome Le Cordon Bleu. In America, her career continued to flourish and, after initially running the Egg Basket restaurant at Bloomingdale's department store, she set up her own restaurant and cooking school on the Upper East Side. She also launched a successful broadcasting career after her appearance on the TV cookery programme, 'To the Queen's Taste', and published another cook book called the 'Cordon Bleu Cook Book'. Lucas meanwhile struggled to find work and, after a stint with the British Council doing architectural advisory work, he returned to England, having separated from Dione. Once there Lucas was assisted by Leslie Martin to join the London County Council (LCC) and worked in the development section and later the newly formed architectural department. Working with the LCC he was involved in a number of housing schemes including the Ackroydon Estate where he developed housing on sites at Princes Way and Wimbledon Park Side along with Robert Matthew, Leslie Martin, and Michael Powell. In 1950, also under the LCC, Lucas was leader of a team (made up of John Partridge, Bill Howell, John Killick and Stanley Amis) working on Roehampton Estate which was split in to Alton East and Alton West. This project was awarded a RIBA (Royal British Institute of Architects) bronze medal in 1959 and Lucas received an OBE in 1972 for his work.

Lucas continued to work for the LCC, and also the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1965, working on other projects including the Ferrier Estate in Kidbrooke in South East London which involved building two thousand homes. He retired in 1978.

In his personal life, Lucas was married twice: first in 1930 to Dione Lucas with whom he had two sons; and second in 1978 to his cousin, Pamela Campbell, a textile designer and screen printer who had assisted Lucas when he built the Cordon Bleu restaurant for Dione. He was also a keen spiritualist and gave talks and wrote pieces of spiritual subjects. Lucas died in 1984.
DescriptionContains research material relating to Colin Lucas, including:

-photocopy of an extract from Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians on the composer Mary Anderson (Lucas' mother); a photocopy of an article from The Automobile, March 1997, Vol. 15, no. 1 relating to Ralph Lucas (Lucas' father); and a photocopy of an article from The Architectural Review, nd, relating to Henry Wilson (Lucas' father-in-law)
-copy of a speech given by Lucas at the forum at the Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) in 1976
-copy of a letter from Lucas to John Allan, dated 1 December 1971, including a sketch from memory of Silver Birches
-details taken from the internet of the Russian mystic, P.D. Ouspensky, whose teachings influenced Lucas
Date1928-2003
LevelFile
Extent1 file
Thumbnail

DCS_2_2_4a.jpg

Image CaptionB&w photograph of Lucas, [dated c1970s]
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