Clandon Park project update June 2017

The upper level of the house underneath the scaffolding roof

We were thrilled with the excellent response that we received to our International Design Competition, run by Malcolm Reading Consultants. Narrowing the long-list down to six teams was very difficult indeed, but the shortlist we now have represents some of the best design talent from around the world and we are thoroughly looking forward to working with all of the shortlisted teams on the next stage of the competition.

Exhibiting the concepts on site at the end of August will give us the opportunity to continue the conversation with our members, neighbours and supporters and listen to their opinions right the way through the project, informing what we do.

We are also consulting with specialists in the sector and our statutory partners at each stage too and have a number of presentations planned, as well as a stakeholder day in August.

A jury, made up from experts from the worlds of arts, heritage and architecture, as well as local representation, will judge the shortlist and we will announce the winning practice at the end of September.

" 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."
- Sandy Nairne, Chair of the jury

Your voice

Some of the comments shared on the ‘Thoughts Board’ in the Visitor Reception include:

‘My visit was very encouraging - I'd imagined total devastation, but so much is left that will lead to a reconstruction. Look forward to the journey’

‘Awe inspiring project with many options for the future. Well done for opening up the site to the public - great interpretation. Well done!’

‘Fascinating, historically interesting and informative. From the tragedy of the fire, an opportunity for careful and considered restoration is emerging. Bravo National Trust.’

‘Interesting visit and once the architect is appointed, I'm sure it will look amazing. Fantastic. So interesting. Thank you all.’

If you have any thoughts or feedback we’d love to hear from you…

Conservation Plan

Following the Conservation Statement produced by Ptolemy Dean (architect and Surveyor of the Fabric, Westminster Abbey), Alan Baxter Associates have produced a full Conservation Plan. An extract will go into the design brief for the teams shortlisted in the design competition.

The Plan will help the Trust and the winning design team to decide on the fundamental issues of restoring Clandon; thus there is a strong emphasis on fabric analysis. Detailed management guidance, typical of Conservation Management Plans, will be provided once the capital works are completed.

The Conservation Plan is one of the principle studies to inform the restoration of the house and Trust-owned land around it. It contains a comprehensive understanding of the history and significance of the site, and summarises the approach to conservation and significance that is being developed by the Trust, and has three parts:

  1. Understanding Clandon Park - analysis of the evolution and elements of the site and an Assessment of Significance, which sets out the cultural and ecological importance and interest of the site.
  2. Mansion Gazetteer - an elevation-by-elevation and room-by-room description, using annotated rectified photography of the post-fire fabric juxtaposed against pre-fire photographs and collections information where relevant.
  3. Landscape Gazetteer - considers the landscape, ecological, archaeological and buildings history, character and interest.

The Conservation Plan process was as follows:

First, understand Clandon, through assessing its significance, leading to an analysis of the risks and opportunities facing that significance. This resulted in a series of conservation policies forming a framework for restoration.

Second, the National Trust assembled a team of leading specialists: Alan Baxter Ltd (lead consultant and for fabric analysis and architecture); Dr Richard Hewlings (the pre-eminent authority on Leoni); Pre-Construct Archaeology; Sarah Rutherford Historic Environment, (landscape and gardens); Ecology and Collections Management Network.

Third, the team undertook field and documentary research, and drew upon a range of studies and surveys including: comprehensive measured and topographical surveys, rectified photography, dendrochronology, and archaeological recording of timber, ironwork and plaster salvaged from the fire.

Fourth, in order to plan effectively for the future, it was necessary to understand and analyse the whole park: in their conception and throughout most of their history, the house, gardens and park were indivisible.

Fifth, the results were discussed in a series of workshops and site visits. The process was further enriched by access to other experts within the Trust and its advisory bodies.

Sixth, the resulting Plan presents this wealth of information, almost overwhelming at times.

A full draft of the Plan has been completed and this will be reviewed over the coming months and shared in future updates.