Kenwood House – Adam Library
– Hampstead Heath
During the major refurbishment works to Kenwood House during 2012-2013 Campbell Smith restoration specialists undertook the restoration of the library to the decorations designed and installed by Robert and James Adam in around 1770. Following intense on site investigation of paint samples by English Heritage and their retained experts, Crick Smith, Campbell Smith & Co painstakingly painted the walls and ceilings to the original designs and specifications. Paraloid varnish was used to seal the gilding that had been overlaid onto the original finish in the intervening period, to enable the new finish to adhere without damaging it.
Kenwood House is the Headquarters of English Heritage, and the restoration won the award for ‘Restoration of a Georgian Interior’ in the 2014 awards of the Georgian Group, a charity for the preservation of buildings dating from the period 1700 to 1840. The citation commended the transformation in the library away from the popular perception of Adam decorations, laden with gilt, to a historically accurate re-presentation, calling it ‘conviction conservation’.
Campbell Smith & Co also undertook the refurbishment of the external façade of the front portico to match the finish applied during the remodelling of 1770. See the separate Case Study for this work.