Cultural Innovations designs Wrest Park visitor attraction

Cultural Innovations has worked with English Heritage to create the visitor attraction for Wrest Park in Bedfordshire, as part of the site’s £1.14m restoration.


Cultural Innovations was responsible for the design and project management of the centre, working alongside Public Works Office, which created graphics. It was appointed by English Heritage in September 2009, following a three-way unpaid creative pitch.

The project involved working across the site’s French-style 18th century mansion and other buildings such as the Archer pavilion, dairy, orangery and Bowling Green house, aiming to help ‘re-create and re-present Wrest Park’s historical and social scenes with an aesthetically sympathetic touch.’

It implemented graphics by Public Works Office in the new visitor centre building, which opens this week and includes a café and shop.

Stuart Newton, Cultural Innovations project manager, says the main design consideration was to make the exhibition spaces ‘contemporary’ but ‘also appeal to an older audience.’

The consultancy created eleven interactive elements – one in the Bowling Green house, and the others used across the main mansion house. One audio-visual interactive will allow visitors to ‘view’ rooms physically closed off from the public, while another allows participants to create their own Chinese style wallpapers using magnets.

Historical vignettes filled with props and historical artefacts were used to provide visitors with a view of Wrest Park’s history.

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