National Trust announces Clandon Park International Design Competition Shortlist

Six award-winning teams chosen and full jury announced

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Image © National Trust Images/James Dobson
  • 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):

  • 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.

Please visit the competition website for further updates as the project progresses.