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Iconic Art Deco House in Stanmore Conservation Area for sale

5th Apr 2012

A rare chance to own a classic of British architecture designed by Gerald Lacoste - architect, artist and decorated Intelligence officer

At the height of the north London development boom of the 1930s, in the area known as Metro-Land, six distinctive houses were built on Kerry Avenue, Stanmore in 1937 under a commission from local Baronet, Sir John Fitzgerald, to challenge the perceived blandness of suburban architecture.

Known as the Warren House Estate, they were designed by leading architect Gerald Lacoste MBE, FRIBA, FRSA in the Modern Movement or International style, combining geometric lines and curves with contemporary building materials. They are all locally listed as Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest.

Now, No. 3 Kerry Avenue is being sold through us with offers for the freehold in excess of £ 1,300,000.

This double-fronted, 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom detached house has a gross internal floor area of approximately 2,382 sq.ft. ( 221.3 sq.m). Within the Kerry Avenue Conservation Area it is ideally located for Stanmore’s Underground Station, the local shopping facilities and places of worship.


As you would expect of a house with this heritage, the rooms are all of generous proportions with a separate lounge, dining room and two further reception rooms on the ground floor. The luxury fitted kitchen leads from the family room, with a utility room and guest cloakroom completing the ground floor accommodation.

On the upper floor, there is a spacious master bedroom suite with dressing room and ensuite bathroom, from which there are delightful views of the 110ft south-facing rear garden. In addition, there are three further bedrooms – all with fitted wardrobes – and a luxury family bathroom.

At the front, the carriage driveway adds to the drama of the house as well as affording off-street parking for 5/6 cars.

To arrange a private viewing of this rare architectural and historical gem, please contact us.


Gerald Lacoste MBE, FRIBA, FRSA (1908-1983) qualified in 1930, aged 22, and for two years was the youngest qualified A.R.I.B.A. Working in Frinton in 1932 for a firm dealing with ‘the better houses’ of the fashionable seaside resort, he attracted commissions from, amongst others, singer and entertainer, Gracie Fields – for whom he designed a house in Frognal in NW London– and the couturiers, Norman Hartnell and Molyneux. During this time he also worked for Sir Edwin Lutyens and Oswald Milne before opening his own practice in 1933.

Aged 26, his design for the reconstruction of No. 41 Berkeley Square - including probably London’s first penthouse at one of the finest addresses in Belgravia – won in competition against the foremost architects of the day. His friendship with Sir Norman Hartnell, dressmaker to the Queen, crystallised in what is recognised as one of the finest examples of pre-war commercial design in the Salon he created within the large 18th century townhouse at 26 Bruton Street, Mayfair.


He also began a series of commissions for many noble Lords of the Realm which included the houses in Kerry Avenue, Stanmore.

Sir John Peter Gerald Maurice Fitzgerald (1884 – 1957) was the hereditary Anglo-Irish 21st Knight of Kerry and 3rd Baronet of Valencia – hence the distinctive road names of the Warren House Estate. He lived in Warren House on Wood Lane, Stanmore.

A keen member of the Territorial Army, Gerald Lacoste was one of the foremost war artists of his time, especially remembered for his ‘Keep mum – she’s not so dumb’ poster, produced in 1942 for the propaganda campaign aimed at Service personnel. It depicts a glamorous blonde woman reclining, and officers from each branch of the Armed Forces around her, talking to each other. It is implied that the officers are talking military secrets, on the (wrongful) assumption that the woman is only a ‘dumb blonde’ and so will not pass these secrets onto the enemy.

Not only were his artistic skills harnessed during the war but, the then Captain Lacoste as an Intelligence officer also led a team of architects who worked on Aerial Photographic Interpretation. He designed models and plans for the D-Day landings and was wounded there in the Sixth Airborne Division. He was promoted to Major and was awarded the MBE as well as the Bronze Star from the USA.

After the war, he was a major contributor to the development of Harlow, regarded as the most successful of Britain's post-war new towns as an object lesson in modern architecture and town planning. He developed his skill as a landscape artist, exhibiting at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon.

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