Designed by Capability Brown and opened in 1760, Croome Court, which sits majestically in the Worcestershire countryside, has recently been renovated and as part of its new lease of life a design competition was launched last month to create a new archives room.

The archive includes substantial runs of papers relating to the estates of the Coventry family, including plans, rentals, deeds and correspondence. It also includes unique records relating to the building, decoration and furnishing of Croome Court and the creation and development of the parkland surrounding it, which was Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s first complete landscape work.

Through the competition the Trust was seeking to discover individuals or a small team to design and produce an experience for visitors that opens up the estate’s extensive historic records in imaginative and surprising ways. It received 32 applications and has chosen three finalists who will each receive a £500 commission to develop their ideas, which will go on public display during the summer. The winning designer will receive a £15,000 commission and have the opportunity to work with an industry leader to make their ideas reality.

“We are delighted to be able to share the candidates we have shortlisted for the second phase of the Design Competition,” said Clare Harris Creative Producer – Croome: Redefined.  “We received 32 applications in total, which we whittled down to a top six that were invited to interview at the end of February. Among these candidates we felt that there were three groups which really understood our Design brief and would provide an interesting response to the room.

The Shortlisted Design Competition Candidates are:

PUP Architects

PUP is a young design and architecture studio based in London. They are Theodore Molloy, Chloë Leen and Steve Wilkinson. Collectively, they draw strength from their diverse backgrounds. Each have worked for a number of leading architecture and design practices across Europe and their separate project experience ranges from the design of houses, to galleries, exhibitions and interiors, to physically building one-off structures.

They have a particular interest in designing and building small, magical spaces; and public/community architecture. They are driven by the context and needs of each project and their aim is to build architecture with a social conscience that challenges, satisfies and excites.

Ruth Hall, Max Jones & Elena Thatcher

Ruth, Max and Elena are a small collective made up of two theatre designers and an architect. Their group was formed through a common belief in both the strengths and necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration in order to creatively evolve, and a renaissance ambition to diversify across a broad spectrum of disciplines.

They believe the competition would provide an excellent opportunity for them to fuse the often separate worlds of theatre design and architecture within a national heritage site.

As a collective, with an array of design and realisation ability, they aim to push the boundaries of this interpretation narrative and create a truly unique and enchanting audience experience. The opportunity to work alongside the National Trust in delivering this project would provide their fledgling practice with not only an invaluable experience but also, hoped a platform for developing exciting collaborations in the future.

Kate Allen & Jo Blyghton

Kate Allen is an Interior Designer and Jo Blyghton an Archivist. Having spent her early career working in the public and third sector, Allen completed Interior Design training at KLC in 2014 whilst working as assistant to world renowned architect, Will Alsop. She now works as a Junior Interior Designer at Clifton Interiors.

Blyghton’s experience includes working in the cultural sector as Chair of the Museum Mile and co-curating an exhibition at the Barbican as Archivist for the National Jazz Archive, part of an HLF funded project. Other experience includes working as an Archivist for charities, local authorities and a high end, heritage jewellery organisation.

They saw the competition as an opportunity to combine and develop their professional skills in an exciting collaboration among stunning & inspirational surroundings.

Inspired by Adam, Brown & Coventry – They hope to produce an immersive effect for the visitor, projected images, audio, scan codes, and other interactive design features will be central to the experience.

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Main Image

Croome Court by Victoria Cronin