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Thursday31 July 2014

Rodney Melville wins National Trust Knole studio job

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Practice appointed to design £2.3 million studio and cafe at historic house

Rodney Melville and Partners has been appointed to design a £2.3 million studio and cafe at the National Trust’s Knole house in Kent.

The project involves renovating a medieval barn and hayloft to create a three-storey conservation studio, which will be open to the public and provide training in heritage skills.

Richard Hill, senior project manager at the National Trust, said Rodney Melville and Partners was appointed having worked on a number of earlier projects for the trust.

“We were extremely impressed with their work at Tyntesfield, Hardwick Hall and Nostell Priory, comparable and complex projects where they delivered sympathetic architectural solutions under rigorous scrutiny,” he said.

“Their initial response to our brief has shown them to be alert to the needs of Knole, both as the most precious and fragile property in the National Trust portfolio and as a major heritage attraction.”

Knole’s existing cafe will be extended and refurbished as part of the project. The studio will provide a home for the house’s collection of seventeenth century royal furniture alongside education facilities.

The project is part of a larger £17.3 million programme of repairs and improvements at the fifteenth century property, which will open up additional areas of the house to the public.

Knole is described by the National Trust as “one of the country’s most precious and exceptional historic houses”. It was acquired by the trust in 1946.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • A work of some photoshop genius, I like the big triangular window in the rough stone opening.

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  • "having worked on a number of earlier projects for the trust" is probably not the best reason to win a competition. I am not sure if the Aldburgh-inspired gable end would get Listed Buildings Consent.

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