Shaw House in Newbury short listed for national award

The Award sponsors include names like the Forestry Commission and the Carpenters’ Company. The judges are comprised of high profile architects, engineers, furniture designers and architectural journalists.

A key part of the restoration work at Shaw House was the conservation and restoration of the historic timber wall panelling, which is in both softwood and oak and dates from the 16th – 18th centuries.The panelling had been removed from the walls in the 1980s amid concerns about the structural condition of the house, and stacked on the floors. It was in reasonable condition but was in a great many pieces.

Records of where the components were taken from comprised labels on the backs of the panels, some of which were missing. The panels were first moved to a warehouse where they could be laid out, room-by-room. This enabled the architects, Purcell Miller Tritton LLP to produce larger scale drawings on which they recorded repairs and missing elements. The drawings were then cross-referenced to detailed schedules that were ultimately used to price and carry out the work.

Some new panels were designed and installed to suit adaptations being made to the building. For example, hinged panels which can be opened to reveal the archaeology of the building structure behind have been sympathetically incorporated to aid visitor interpretation. Local specialist joiners Tankerdale Limited offered invaluable advice during the design stage, and then were later employed as a subcontractor to carry out the work. The panelling was repaired in their workshops to a high standard using traditional methods, and was then re-installed by them on site.

The other projects shortlisted in this category are Apethorpe Hall: Long Gallery Panelling and The Merchant’s House, Shepton Mallett. The judges visited Shaw House on 11th August and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on 14th October.

More information on http://www.woodawards.com/shaw-house/