Archives & Library

Dennis Sharp Archive

Dennis Sharp (1933-2010) was an architect, designer, author and teacher. The Centre holds Sharp’s archive, which comprises material compiled in the course of his research on the architecture of Connell, Ward and Lucas. The archive is fully catalogued and available for research. This spotlight feature highlights some of the key themes that emerge from the archive and some of the treasures which it contains.

Colin Lucas (1906 - 1984)

Colin Anderson Lucas was born in 1906 and studied at Cambridge University (1925-1928) before joining his father's construction company (creating Lucas, Lloyd and Co.) in 1928. Their first project was to build a private weekend home for the Lucas family, called Noah's house, and boathouse.

The Connell, Ward and Lucas practice was officially formed in May 1934 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 on the outbreak of the Second World War. During the fighting Lucas worked at the British Research Station at Princes Risborough.

Black and white portrait of Colin Lucas

Colin Lucas,

In 1945 Lucas moved to Manhattan, U.S.A., to be with his wife, Dione Lucas, and two sons, who had relocated there during the war. Dione, the daughter of the arts and crafts architect and jeweller, Henry Wilson, had set up a cooking school and two restaurants in London, and won the Grand Diplome Le Cordon Bleu. Her work continued to thrive in America ultimately leading to a successful broadcasting career. Lucas meanwhile struggled to find work and, after a brief stint with the British Council, he returned to England, having separated from Dione.

Lucas joined the London County Council (LCC) and was involved in housing schemes including the Ackroydon Estate and the Roehampton Estate, the latter of which was awarded a RIBA (Royal British Institute of Architects) bronze medal in 1959. In 1972 Lucas received an OBE for his work. He continued to work for the LCC, and also the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1965, working on projects including the Ferrier Estate in Kidbrooke in South East London which involved building two thousand houses, before retiring in 1978.

In his personal life, Lucas remarried in 1978. His second wife was his cousin, Pamela Campbell, a textile designer and screen printer who had assisted Lucas when he built the Cordon Bleu restaurant for Dione. Lucas was also a keen spiritualist, writing and lecturing on the subject.

Lucas died in 1984.

Related records in the Dennis Sharp Archive

Record Reference
Biographical information on Lucas DCS/2/2/4
The Lucas family, including his mother, Mary Anderson, and father, Ralph Lucas DCS/2/2/4
Noah's house and boathouse DCS/2/6/4
Dione Lucas DCS/2/2/4
Lucas' father-in-law, Henry Wilson DCS/2/2/4
The cooking school and two restaurants designed by Lucas for his wife, Dione, as well as Hopfield, a private weekend house built by Lucas for his family DCS/2/6/8