- Client: Office of Public Works
- Architect: Office of Public Works
- Duration: May 1999 - August 2000
- Contract value: £7.9M
The project involved the retention of an existing Victorian Gothic House, which was designed in 1865 by Sir Thomas Deane of Deane & Woodward, and the construction of 4 new Exhibition halls.
The existing house and courtyards are situated on a plateau above a series of stepped grass terraces, leading down to a man-made lake. The Exhibition Building, framed by the lake, acts as a displaced plinth to the main house. The storage and conservation buildings are set in line with the existing courtyards, forming one side of a new public space to the rear of the house and also a further private courtyard to the side of the existing courtyards. The third side of the new public square is defined by a glazed link building that connects the Exhibition and Storage Building and reflects the existing line of the former rear garden of the house.
Restoration works included:
- The removal of all timber flooring to remove dry rot and make sound and replacement.
- Replacement of all timber lintols and windows re-weighted.
- Upgrade of the wiring and plumbing systems
- Flooring and fireplaces were removed, stored and reinstalled
- Cornices were replicated throughout the house
- All existing doors were fireproofed
- Graining works were carried out to walls to replicate original features
- The walls in the hallway were scraped back and painted to give the impression that they are marble finish
- The Library was upgraded and repainted and all intricate moulding installed.
The Exhibition Building has four floors, each relating to a terrace from its entrance at House level to the lowest level at the lake.