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Camellia House At Wentworth Woodhouse Wins RICS Regional Award

Project name:
Camellia House at Wentworth
Architecture firm:
Donald Insall Associates
South Yorkshire, England, UK
Principal architect:
Safer Sphere
Design team:
Interior design:
Built area:
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Mason Clark Associates
Environmental & MEP:
Max Fordham
Tools used:
William Burch & Sons
Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust
Residential › House, Luxury Modern Duplex Home

Restoration Architecture Award Win for South Yorkshire

Conservation architects Donald Insall Associates are delighted to announce that the Camellia House, a Grade II*-listed glass house nestled within the gardens of Wentworth Woodhouse, has received an RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) regional award in the Refurbishment/Revitalisation category. This recognition highlights the exceptional efforts and collaboration involved in this £5 million conservation project.

The Camellia House is a historically significant building in a Grade II* registered setting. The north side of the building dates from 1738, when it was built as a tea room for Lady Rockingham, wife of the 1st Marquess.

The building also features a 19th century orangery to the south, which was added to house the family’s growing collection of camellias which had recently begun to arrive from China. 

The camellias which remain are now some of the rarest and oldest surviving in the Western world; this nationally important collection has been described by horticulturists as a “library full of first editions”.           

The brief for Donald Insall Associates from the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust was to repair the derelict Georgian stone and glass building and bring it back to its original use as a tea room, but this time for the use of the public and local community groups. 

The camellias had to be carefully protected throughout the building project and their renovated, energy-efficient new setting had to have their health and survival at heart. The 21st century iteration of the Camellia House will also ensure that the building is suitable for evening events.

The Camellia House is a key part of Donald Insall Associates’ on-going work on the preservation and refurbishment at Wentworth Woodhouse, introducing new uses for the local community and visitors to secure a sustainable future for the country house.

Funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, and other contributors, the project has successfully transformed the once-derelict Camellia House into a building that has already been widely recognised for its positive impact on the region and the role it plays in preserving such an important historical site and protected the future of the historic camellias.

Dorian Proudfoot, Director and Conservation Accredited Architect, Donald Insall Associates, says,

“Receiving the highly regarded RICS award means a great deal to us as it recognises the work that we have done together with our colleagues to celebrate Yorkshire’s heritage at the Camellia House.  Importantly, the award appreciates the need for conservation architecture to not only proficiently restore and repair but also to breathe new life into historic buildings so that they are viable today.” 

Project team:

Client: Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust

Project organiser: DTS Solutions

Architect: Donald Insall Associates

Contractor: William Burch & Sons

Structural Engineer: Mason Clark Associates

Quantity Surveyor: Rex Procter & Partners

M&E Engineer: Max Fordham

Principal Designer: Safer Sphere

Glazed Roof: Standard Patent Glazing Co.

Fire consultant: Hoare

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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