When Grade I-listed Clandon Park, designed by Giacomo Leoni in 1720, was reduced to a charred shell by a catastrophic fire in April 2015, many questions were posed. What would happen to the remains? Were they salvageable? Was Leoni’s inheritance lost?
The morning after the fire, Price & Myers offered advice to the local council and The National Trust. We produced a plan to stabilise the walls and provided advice on the condition of the surviving structure. We were subsequently appointed with Allies and Morrison to work on the restoration project that would bring new life to Clandon Park.
What emerged from the team’s specialist research and investigative conservation over the following years was that the remains had new stories to tell about Leoni’s design and how the house was built.
The National Trust has revealed its new approach to Clandon Park – one that responds to the evocative spaces created by the fire and the findings the project team have uncovered; one that looks at the ruins with fresh eyes and turns the fire into a new chapter in Clandon Park’s history rather than marking its end.
While the external walls and windows are being fully restored, most of the interior of Clandon Park will be thoughtfully conserved in its fire-damaged state. Suspended walkways and platforms will give visitors new views and perspectives through the house. A new roof with public terraces and roof lights will give views down into the fire-ravaged interior from above, and out across the surrounding countryside.
The new Clandon Park will offer people a unique view of how 18th Century country houses were made, and will become a venue for events, exhibitions and other activities.
Photos: credit National Trust Images/Andrew Shaylor
Ph 1: The fire created dramatic voids and revealed the layers of materials and craftsmanship that make up the house
Ph 2: Suspended walkways at first and second floor levels will give visitors new perspectives on the fire-damaged country house
Ph 3: Voids stretch from basement to ceiling in some spaces inside the house
Ph 4: Looking up at Clandon’s jaw-dropping interiors
Ph 5: The fire revealed what lies beneath the extravagant surfaces of a great country house, showing the hidden handiwork of craftspeople
Ph 6: Exterior of house: Clandon’s elegant brick exterior survived the fire and is being repaired by heritage craftspeople
Architects visuals: credit Allies and Morrison
The National Trust has released these concept designs to illustrate the new architectural principles for Clandon. Detailed designs will be developed in the next phase of work.
Marble Hall: The most famous room at Clandon before the fire is a jaw-dropping space, conserved and stabilised in its fire-damaged state it will introduce the story of how this great house was made.
Saloon: Suspended walkways will give visitors new perspectives on Clandon’s remarkable laid-bare interiors, allowing them to explore the whole house.
Roof: A wrap-around roof terrace with rooflights will provide visitors with sweeping views across the historic parkland and back down into the dramatic fire-damaged building.