The design of Du Cane Court is a striking example of the Art Deco architectural style, which was popular during the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s. Here are some key features and design elements of Du Cane Court:
The building’s exterior is characterized by its symmetrical composition and clean lines. It boasts a distinctive pale yellow brick facade with vertical and horizontal decorative bands in contrasting colors. The central feature of the building is its clock tower, rising above the main entrance and serving as a focal point.
The main entrance of Du Cane Court is an impressive Art Deco showcase. It features a set of double doors framed by decorative metalwork and flanked by geometric-patterned glass panels. The entrance is adorned with intricate geometric motifs and stylized flora and fauna designs, representing the era’s fascination with streamlined and geometric forms.
The interior design of Du Cane Court reflects the opulence and luxury associated with Art Deco. The communal areas are adorned with sleek materials, such as polished marble, terrazzo, and mirrored surfaces. The common spaces, including the lobby and corridors, feature geometric patterns, stepped motifs, and chrome detailing, all characteristic of the Art Deco style.
Du Cane Court was renowned for its amenities, which were considered lavish for their time. The building originally included a ballroom, restaurant, and a rooftop garden, providing residents with spaces for socializing and leisure activities. These amenities were designed to evoke a sense of grandeur and cater to the residents’ desire for a luxurious lifestyle.
Art Deco Details:
Throughout Du Cane Court, there are numerous Art Deco details and decorative elements. These include ornate wrought-iron railings, stylized floral motifs, stepped and geometric patterns, and elegant light fixtures. The design incorporates a mix of materials, including wood, glass, metal, and stone, to create a visually appealing and harmonious aesthetic.
The design of Du Cane Court reflects the elegance, sophistication, and innovation of the Art Deco movement. It captures the spirit of the era through its geometric shapes, luxurious materials, and attention to detail, making it an iconic example of Art Deco architecture in London.
Behind the mature trees and Japanese gardens allegedly laid out by Kusumoto, the famous landscape artist, lies an interior more akin to a cruise ship than a block of flats. The window design of the architect G. Kay Green ensured that each flat received maximum light although in recent years many are being replaced with newer double glazed windows in a similar style.
On TV and in Movies:
Du Cane is such a good example of Art Deco Architecture that scenes from Agatha Christie’s Poirot were filmed in the building. You can see Du Cane Court at the opening of “The Plymouth Express, in which David Suchet appeared as the lead character Poirot. In the episode, Florence who was a daughter of a multimillionaire, Holliday, lived in the block. The entrance to Du Cane appeared when Florence’s husband was visiting her. Another Christie character Miss Marple is linked to Du Cane Court this time because the actress playing her, Dame Margaret Rutherford, lived in the block.