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Big names and global talent vie for £30m Clandon Park restoration

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The National Trust has shortlisted an intriguing mix of practices in its search for a team to oversee the £30 million restoration of Clandon Park, a fire-damaged Palladian mansion in Surrey

The six teams include star names such as Amanda Levete’s practice AL_A, American practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York’s Selldorf Architects and Sergison Bates. Sam Jacob Studio and AOC also appear in the team listings.

AJ100 practices Allies and Morrison, Donald Insall Associates, Feilden+Mawson, and Purcell also feature among the finalists for the job at the 18th-century Grade I-listed house, which was struck by a major blaze that destroyed its roof, floors and thousands of historic objects in April 2015.

More than 60 teams entered the contest, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, which seeks an architect-led multidisciplinary team to deliver a ‘sensitive and thoughtful’ restoration of the landmark building’s ground-floor state rooms and new ‘imaginative’ spaces on the upper levels.

According to the brief, the two elements must ‘confidently relate’ to each other and deliver ‘a building that reads as one, and which is integrated within its setting’.

Shortlisted teams 

  • AL_A and Giles Quarme & Associates with Arup, James Lingwood and GROSS.MAX
  • Allies and Morrison and Feilden+Mawson with Price & Myers, Max Fordham, Nissen Richards Studio, Tom Stuart-Smith, David Bonnett Associates and The Fire Surgery
  • Donald Insall Associates and Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Price & Myers, Max Fordham, Barker Langham and Tom Stuart-Smith
  • Purcell and Sam Jacob Studio with Arup, QODA Consulting, Brendan Cormier and Churchman Landscape Architects
  • Selldorf Architects and Cowie Montgomery Architects with Studio Otero Pailos, Arup and Vogt Landscape Architects
  • Sergison Bates Architects and AOC Architecture with Philip Hughes Associates, Tavernor Consultancy, Price & Myers, Ritchie+Daffin, Tom Stuart-Smith and Graphic Thought Facility

 The project, which the National Trust describe as its ‘biggest conservation project in a generation’, will restore the building’s historically significant state rooms on the ground floor.

Key rooms such as the Marble Hall, Speakers’ Parlour and Saloon – where significant architectural features survived the blaze – are expected to be restored to their 18th-century glory.

The ‘less architecturally significant’ upper floors of the house will meanwhile be transformed into flexible spaces for exhibitions, events and performances.

Surrey

Surrey

Source: Image by John Millar National Trust Images

Inside the Marble Hall of Clandon Park

Clandon Park was designed by Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni as a home for the Onslow family. It was completed in the 1720s. The building, one of Leoni’s five surviving works in England, fell into disrepair during the 20th century and was given to the National Trust in the 1950s.

Following the fire, the trust considered a range of options for the house, including leaving it as a ruin, but decided restoration was both technically possible and could generate enough income for long-term conservation.

The restoration cost will mostly be covered by the building’s insurance. Additional fundraising will commence once the plans are further developed.

The jury will be chaired by Sandy Nairne, National Trust Board of Trustees member and former director of the National Portrait Gallery, and includes actress and local resident Penelope Keith, David Bickle from the Victoria & Albert Museum, Ben Bolgar of the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and Ptolemy Dean, principal director of Ptolemy Dean Architects and surveyor of the fabric at Westminster Abbey.

Nairne said: ‘Architects, conservation experts and designers have responded impressively to the challenge presented at Clandon. We received an excellent set of submissions, offering many fascinating collaborations and partnerships.

’The shortlist represents a collection of great talent from the UK and abroad, mixing better and less-well known firms. The teams that were selected had thoroughly analysed the conservation issues and design opportunities, and proposed thoughtful and creative approaches.

Nairne added: ‘I look forward to seeing their concept designs and am honoured to be chairing a distinguished jury.’

An exhibition of the finalists’ designs will be displayed at Clandon Park during the summer, and an overall winner will be announced by early autumn with construction work expected to start in 2019.

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