Clandon Park International Design Competition

View from above into Clandon Park following the fire

In 2017, our international design competition allowed us to search for a world-class multidisciplinary design team to remake Clandon Park following the fire. We looked for architect-led teams who demonstrated expertise in design, conservation, structural engineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, interpretation and landscape design.

To help us in our search, Malcolm Reading Consultants, specialists in running competitions for museums and arts, heritage, and non-profit organisations, were appointed to manage the competition.

Following the competition launch in January 2017, 60 teams (comprising 278 individual firms) entered. A strong shortlist of six award-winning teams were then selected based on project understanding and approach, team composition and relevant experience, to progress to the final stage.

The six shortlisted architectural teams were led by AL_A, Allies and Morrison, Donald Insall Associates, Purcell, Selldorf Architects and Sergison Bates Architects.

" Clandon is so historically resonant and has such cultural potential that we want the competition to attract the most talented design teams with the freshest thinking to help us bring it back to life."
- Helen Ghosh, former Director-General

Those shortlisted teams provided preliminary studies and concept designs to be scrutinised by a panel of National Trust and external specialists. We received an excellent set of submissions, offering many fascinating collaborations and partnerships. Each team had thoroughly analysed the conservation issues and design opportunities, proposing thoughtful and creative approaches.

In the summer of 2017, the concept designs were displayed in a public exhibition at Clandon Park and digitally on our website. Featuring a short film, a 1:100 scale model and a series of panels, the exhibition showcased how each team envisaged remaking the house and provided opportunities for public and stakeholder feedback. 

Subsequently, the competition jury met to interview the teams, review the designs and select a winner.

" The teams that were selected 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."
- Sandy Nairne, Trustee and Chair of the jury

Our jury panel featured figures from the worlds of heritage, architecture, the arts and the locality:

  • 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, 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

Following extensive consultation, Allies and Morrison were chosen to help us bring Clandon Park back to life. The jury praised the winning team’s bold yet balanced approach, keeping continuity and cohesion whilst allowing for an appropriate level of drama and excitement. Allies and Morrison are now working with the National Trust to develop a design that offers a bright and sustainable future for Clandon Park.