Shortlisted design concepts for restoration and rebuilding of Clandon Park go on display

Six design concepts are going on display at Clandon Park in Surrey as part of the next stage in a competition which will eventually create a final design for the 18th-century Palladian house.

An international design competition was launched in March this year to find a design team to bring the National Trust property back to life after a devastating fire in 2015. 

Six architect-led design teams have now produced concepts visualising their interpretation of the future restoration, reimagining and rebuilding of Clandon Park.

Visitors to Clandon will be able to see the concepts from 23 August, which are based on a comprehensive competition brief in which architect-led teams were asked to:

  • Work with the existing building structure, but consider its immediate setting within the garden
  • Restore damaged historic interiors and principal state rooms on the ground floor and basement - including the Marble Hall, Saloon, Library and Speakers’ Parlour, State Bedroom and the vaulted historic kitchen
  • Introduce new flexible event spaces on the first floor to be used for gallery and exhibition programming
  • Consider visitor facilities including catering and retail outlets
  • Create a careful and accurate restoration, making use of salvaged materials, with the introduction of more modern spaces and technology where appropriate

The brief is informed by the extensive research that’s been carried out at Clandon Park since the fire as part of a comprehensive conservation planning exercise, as well as feedback from heritage and architectural specialists, the local community and visitors. 

To demonstrate how they will incorporate Clandon Park’s rich history, personalities and stories into their creative design, each of the teams has created a physical model. This sits alongside display panels summarising each concept, an overview of the design brief and a video submission from each shortlisted team explaining their design concept.

Paul Cook, Project Director at Clandon Park comments: “It’s exciting to be at this stage in the design competition, when we can see the thought processes and ideas from the six shortlisted teams come to life. Whilst the concepts are not final designs for Clandon, they take us a step closer to choosing a team who will help us restore and rebuild this grand place”.

The six shortlisted teams, selected from sixty entrants to the competition, are each led by an architect but include design, conservation, structural engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, interpretation and landscaping experts. They were selected on the basis of project understanding and approach, team composition and relevant experience.

The international design competition is organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants and judged by a jury consisting of heritage, architectural and local experts who will select the winning team in autumn 2017. 

The National Trust will then work closely with the winning team to produce the final design for the future of Clandon Park. This is expected to be revealed mid-2018 with construction work expected to begin in 2019 subject to planning permission and listed building consent.

The six design concepts are on display in the grounds of Clandon Park from 23 August - 1 October 2017, Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

For more information about the competition, the shortlisted design firms and to see a digital gallery of the design concepts visit the competition website.

For more information on the display and opening times visit the Clandon Park website.

The shortlisted teams are:

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

Notes to editors

About the International Design Competition

The jury

The international design competition is being organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, with the winning team being chosen by a jury of heritage and architectural experts:

  • 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 West Surrey National Trust supporter group
  • 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 Competition Director Malcolm Reading

About Clandon Park

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. 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.

Since the fire, 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.

About the 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 for ever, for everyone.

For more information and ideas for great seasonal days out go to:


Twitter: @nationaltrust

Instagram: @nationaltrust

About 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.