In 2015, Clare College held a competition to refurbish Old Court, the 17th century buildings that form the heart of the College. The Collyweston slates to all four ranges were in a poor state of repair and in urgent need of renewal, as were the electrics and washing facilities, and the College was seeking additional new communal accommodation.
Acting as Conservation Architects for the ambitious project, Freeland Rees Roberts won the competition in a joint bid with Stirling Award winning architects Witherford Watson Mann. The first phase of works included the refurbishment of the Porters’ Lodge including a new doorway to provide universal access, improvements to student and Fellow rooms on two staircases, the installation of a new plant room, and the repair and renewal of the north range roof.
The development of artificial freezing of Collyweston log under Historic England enabled Claude Smith to reopen a mine in Collyweston and the production of new Collyweston slates. The re-slating of the roof and renewal of sand cast lead gutters and coverings to the lanterns provided an opportunity to carry out essential conservation to the timber roof structure and stone balustraded parapets.