National Trust announces Clandon Park International Design Competition Shortlist and Competition Jury

National Trust announces Clandon Park International Design Competition Shortlist and Competition Jury

  • Strong shortlist of six award-winning teams chosen to progress to the final stage of the competition
  • Finalists include established and more emerging architects; both UK and international practices
  • Full details of the jury, drawn from the worlds of heritage, architecture, the arts and the locality, are released

The National Trust announced today [24 May 2017] the six multi-disciplinary teams shortlisted to restore and reimagine Clandon Park, along with details of the competition jury.

The charity aims to give Clandon, a Grade l listed, 18th-century Palladian house, near Guildford, a new life through new uses, and transform the visitor experience. The house, widely considered to be a masterwork, suffered a major fire in April 2015.

Sixty teams (comprising 278 individual firms) entered the first stage of the competition, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants. The shortlisted teams were selected on the basis of project understanding and approach, team composition and relevant experience. The finalist teams – which include UK and international collaborations – selected to go through to the competition’s final stage, are (in alphabetical order, with principal partners; full teams listed below*):

  • AL_A and Giles Quarme & Associates
  • Allies and Morrison and Feilden+Mawson
  • Donald Insall Associates and Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  • Purcell and Sam Jacob Studio
  • Selldorf Architects and Cowie Montgomery Architects
  • Sergison Bates Architects and AOC Architecture

At the same time, the Trust announced the jury, from the worlds of heritage, architecture, the arts and the locality.

The jury comprises (in alphabetical order):

  • Clive Aslet, Author, Journalist and former Editor of Country Life
  • David Bickle, Architect and Director of Design, Exhibitions & FuturePlan, Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Ben Bolgar, Senior Design Director, Prince's Foundation for Building Community
  • Ptolemy Dean, Principal Director, Ptolemy Dean Architects and Surveyor of the Fabric at Westminster Abbey
  • Dame Helen Ghosh DCB, Director-General, National Trust
  • Dame Penelope Keith DBE DL, Local resident, actress and President of the National Trust West Surrey
  • Sandy Nairne CBE FSA (jury chair), Trustee of the National Trust and former Director of the National Portrait Gallery
  • Rt Hon Lord Smith of Finsbury, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, former Culture Secretary and former Chairman of the Environment Agency
  • Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey OBE, Campaigner and Historic England Commissioner

The jury will be advised by Clandon Park Project Director, Paul Cook and architect and competition director, Malcolm Reading.

Sandy Nairne CBE FSA, Chair of the jury, 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. I look forward to seeing their concept designs and am honoured to be chairing a distinguished jury.”

Paul Cook, Project Director, said

“The Trust warmly thanks all those who competed at the first stage of the competition. The quality of response was outstanding, reflecting the importance of this commission.

“We eagerly enter the next stage of the process, which is intended to deepen engagement between the Trust and the shortlisted teams. We will be welcoming the finalists to Clandon to immerse them in the spirit of place.”

The six teams will now be given a further briefing and will create concept designs for the project, which has a construction value of £30m.

Following extensive consultation, the Trust envisages a sensitive and thoughtful restoration of some of the principal state rooms on the ground floor along with the introduction of new spaces, for imaginative programming, on the upper levels. The brief to the competition finalists asks that the two elements confidently relate to each other and create a building that reads as one, and which is integrated within its setting.

In late summer the concept designs will be displayed digitally, and in a public exhibition at Clandon, with opportunities for public and stakeholder feedback. Subsequently, the competition jury will meet to interview the teams, review the designs and select a winning team. The winning team is expected to be announced in early autumn 2017.

Clandon Park is architecturally significant for capturing the moment in England when the Baroque was making way for Palladianism. Designed by Venetian-born architect, Giacomo Leoni, its celebrated interiors were concealed within its austere red brick form. The house was damaged by a fire in April 2015, thought to have been caused by a manufacturing fault in an electrical board. However, the house’s brick superstructure, the Speakers’ Parlour, and architectural features in its celebrated Marble Hall, survived. Six hundred artefacts were rescued on the night of the fire and others, removed from the debris, await conservation.

Construction work is expected to begin by early 2019.

Notes to Editors

List of 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

Team Profiles (as supplied by teams)

AL_A and Giles Quarme & Associates

The Clandon Park of tomorrow can be both beautiful and coherent: it could be a domestically scaled visitor attraction, a state-of-the-art exhibition gallery and an exemplar of architectural wonder of the past and present.

Our team has come together as diverse people and disciplines in a unique collaboration, where conversations will become richer, spread in different directions and produce different results.

The team is composed of the architects AL_A, the engineers Arup, conservation and heritage architects Giles Quarme & Associates, landscape architects GROSS. MAX., and curatorial adviser James Lingwood.

AL_A was founded in 2009 by the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete, with commissions including the highly anticipated expansion of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the recently completed MAAT in Lisbon.

Allies and Morrison and Feilden+Mawson

Allies and Morrison is an architecture and urban planning practice, based in London and Cambridge, with a reputation for well-crafted buildings and thoughtful place making. Our work includes architecture, interior design, conservation, masterplanning, consultation and research. Twice shortlisted for the Stirling prize, 39 of our completed projects have won RIBA awards.

House architect for the Royal Festival Hall and designer of the Astronomy Centre at the Greenwich World Heritage Site, we particularly enjoy working with historic environments and are interested in making heritage work for contemporary audiences. Our portfolio ranges from the recreation of a Jacobean theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe to an extension to Charles Harrison Townsend’s Horniman Museum to the restoration of Blackwell, the seminal Arts and Crafts house in Cumbria.

For Clandon Park, we are collaborating with several carefully selected specialists: Feilden+Mawson, Price & Myers, Max Fordham, Nissen Richards Studio and Tom Stuart-Smith.

Donald Insall Associates and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Donald Insall Associates teams up with leading US architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, fusing forward thinking contemporary design with a rigorous understanding of Clandon’s heritage and significance, viewing the fire as a turning point in the building’s history. We are joined by landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith, interpretation consultants Barker Langham, structural engineers Price & Myers, and services engineers Max Fordham.

Donald Insall Associates is an award-winning conservation architecture practice and historic buildings consultant with nearly six decades of restoring, repairing and rehabilitating historic buildings and environments at key sites such as the Palace of Westminster and Windsor Castle after the 1992 fire. Practice founder Sir Donald Insall’s philosophy and principles of architectural conservation are documented in his book Living Buildings, published by Images Publishing Group in 2008.

Purcell and Sam Jacob Studio

In an exceptional collaboration which couples a contemporary view of creative replication with excellence in rigorous restoration, Purcell is working with Sam Jacob Studio and Brendan Cormier.

Purcell is a top-ten architectural practice in the UK with over 70 years’ experience as architects and heritage consultants. Our reputation is built on heritage expertise, long-term client relationships and awarding-winning conservation and design skill on projects including Cardigan Castle.

Sam Jacob’s work spans scales and disciplines through architecture, design and art. He has won International RIBA Awards, has exhibited at galleries including the V&A and the Biennale, and is a regular writer and participant in talks and events for institutions such as MoMA and the Soane Museum.

Our supporting consultants work with us regularly. They are experts in their fields, with a passion for their disciplines which is infectious, and fills us with excitement about what we can jointly achieve.

Selldorf Architects and Cowie Montgomery Architects

The Clandon Park project team is an international group led by Selldorf Architects, a New York City-based architectural practice with an international reputation for work that is sensitive to context and programme, thoughtful in execution, and timeless.

Team members include Cowie Montgomery, Vogt Landscape Architects, Jorge Otero-Pailos, and Arup. The team has extensive experience working on heritage buildings and cultural projects of great complexity and significance. They bring an approach to conservation projects that is both respectful of the past and forward looking.

Selldorf Architects’ clients include cultural institutions and universities such as the Frick Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Clark Art Institute, Neue Galerie New York, and Brown University. In addition, the firm has created numerous galleries for David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, and Gladstone Gallery among others, and designed exhibitions for the Whitney Museum, Gagosian Gallery, Frieze Masters, and the Venice Art Biennale.

Sergison Bates Architects and AOC Architecture

Sergison Bates’ work is informed by a sensitive approach to place, the experiential potential of materials and construction and a concern for the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability. Award-winning projects include Ruthin Craft Centre, Blankenberge Library and housing projects in London, Geneva and Vienna.

AOC design generous architecture that is both beautiful and socially engaged. Gaining recognition for inventive enquiry, participatory practice and characterful buildings, they operate at diverse scales delivering high quality architecture in sensitive contexts. Award-winning projects include the Wellcome Reading Room, The Green, Nunhead and currently the National Archives Public Spaces.

Both practices bring unique qualities to the design process and will focus on different aspects: AOC on visitor experience, SBA on building fabric. A balanced focus on the physical and social ecology of the project will deliver an inspirational set of sensitively restored spaces and experiences that engage visitors and benefit the local community.

National Trust

The National Trust is a conservation charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces, and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything the charity does.

Entirely independent of Government, the National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 775 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

More than 20 million people visit every year, and together with 4.5 million members and over 62,000 volunteers, they help to support the charity in its work to care for special places forever, for everyone.

Clandon Park

Since the fire in April 2015, National Trust specialists, supported by external consultants and contractors, have completed the enormous task of scaffolding, protecting and stabilising the house. In addition, significant surviving architectural features have been protected in-situ, and the rooms have been cleared of debris, up to eight feet high in places. This process was undertaken very carefully to recover both architectural fragments and items from the important historic collection.

Background / history

  • Clandon Park was one of the country’s most complete examples of a Palladian house designed by Venetian architect Giacomo Leoni (c.1686–1746). Its architectural and historic significance is recognised in its Grade I listing.
  • Clandon was one of only five surviving buildings by Leoni in England. Its decorative schemes were highly significant, particularly the ornate plaster ceilings attributed to European stuccadores Giuseppe Artari (d. 1769) and Giovanni Bagutti (1681–c.1730) and the Carrara marble overmantels by sculptor John Michael Rysbrack (1694–1770).
  • Leoni marked his arrival in England by publishing the first English translation of the work of his Venetian predecessor: architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). This had a significant cultural impact amongst English patrons and architects and brought Leoni to the attention of Lord Onslow, probably through the Duke of Kent, younger brother of George I. The arrival and adoption of authentic Palladianism brought an end to the English Baroque architectural style which had been prevalent since the Restoration.

The family at Clandon

  • Clandon was built for Thomas, 2nd Baron Onslow, to replace the Jacobean house his great-grandfather had acquired in 1641. The Onslows traditionally followed political careers; the three who served as Speakers of the House of Commons were commemorated in portraits in the Speakers’ Parlour which survived the fire.
  • Clandon Park was given to the National Trust in 1956, by Gwendolen Guinness, Lady Iveagh, the daughter of the 4th Earl. The house was refurbished during the 1960s to include a collection of 18th-century furniture and porcelain given to the National Trust, along with a generous endowment, by collector Hannah Gubbay.

Malcolm Reading Consultants

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic consultancy specialising in the selection of contemporary designers. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – either at the local level, or internationally.

MRC is the leading specialist in design competitions in Europe. Recent work includes competitions for the Illuminated River Foundation, the Museum of London, the gold medal-winning UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Tintagel Castle Bridge, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture & Education Quarter, the Mumbai City Museum, the Natural History Museum and New College, Oxford.