Between WWI and WWII, W. E. Masters designed a series of striking apartment buildings including the often overlooked mansions flats on Stourcliffe Street, Seymour Place and Brown Street in Marylebone. The three mansion blocks were designed in an Art Deco-Art Moderne style and contribute significantly to the streetscape along the north-south axis between Shouldham Street, Brown Street and Stourcliffe Street.
Art Deco & Art Moderne
Art Deco architecture combines modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. It is characterised by fragmented shapes and consistent detailing, with each building displaying a consistent theme. Art Deco architecture features unusual takes on symmetry and geometric shapes.
In the 1920s Art Deco suggested opulence and exuberance. With the start of the Great Depression in 1929, it became more subdued. A sleeker architectural style developed out of 1930s Art Deco, called Art Moderne, also known as ‘Streamline Moderne’. Art Moderne buildings were more austere as opposed to the opulent forms of Art Deco.
Stourcliffe Close, located just off Edgware Road on Stourcliffe Street, was part of a larger interwar redevelopment on the Portman Estate. As one of the two main architects responsible for pre-WWII redevelopment on the Estate, W. E. Masters designed Stourcliffe Close circa 1936–7 as a cruciform mansion block in an Art Deco style.
Sherwood Court and Fursecroft
W. E. Masters designed two other mansions blocks in the same era with a consistency in style: Sherwood Court on Seymour Place (c. 1929) and Fursecroft on Brown Street (c. 1936–7).
Stylistically, the three mansion blocks share an Art Deco-Art Moderne sensibility, with subtler motifs in the earlier Sherwood Court articulated on the entrance and balconies, and more pronounced horizontality and rectilinearity in Fursecroft and Stourcliffe Close.
Fursecroft and Stourcliffe Close share very similar ironmongery details, which are highlighted below.
Metalwork at Mansion Blocks
Highlighted here are existing Art Moderne-Art Deco styled metalwork features.