Turner’s House topped out

An exciting stage has been reached in the restoration of Sandycombe Lodge, JMW Turner’s Twickenham country villa.

At a topping out ceremony to celebrate a crucial stage in restoration, conservation architect Gary Butler of Butler Hegarty Architects, thanked William Fullers Contractors and the on-site team of builders and specialist skilled craftspeople for their contribution and commitment.

Guests included Dr Tania Mathias, MP for Twickenham; Councillor David Linette, Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and Professor Ken Howard OBE RA.

Scaling the scaffolding Gary Butler placed a traditional evergreen garland at a high point to celebrate this topping out ‘with a difference’. Topping out traditionally marks the placing of the chimney pots on a new building. However, restoration of Turner’s House began at the top, working towards ground level, reversing the usual build sequence as extensions added later to the building were removed to reveal Turner’s original design for Sandycombe Lodge.

On behalf of Turner’s House Trustees, Chair Catherine Parry-Wingfield welcomed guests and praised everyone involved in the project. “This is an exciting milestone in our restoration project. The dedication of our on-site team has brought us considerably closer to the day when we reopen the doors of Turner’s House for all to enjoy.”

The project remains on schedule to officially re-open during this summer.

– from a Turner House press release - 10 February 1017