RSPB Minsmere

RSPB’s premier facilities needed overhauling, extending and diversifying to provide family-friendly facilities including a segregated Education Centre.

LSI worked with interpretation, catering, retail and branding consultants and proposed a new reception between the existing centre and its remote toilet block, and reworked visitor flows to expand the cafeteria and improve visitor check-in.

The brief was to improve visitor facilities at the Minsmere Reserve, and to broaden both its appeal and its educational offer to families and to schools. The existing facilities and staff areas were in need of updating and extending to provide an enhanced offer to existing audiences, and provide family friendly facilities to encourage a new generation to discover and explore this special place.

LSI liaised closely with interpretation designers, catering consultants, retail designers, and branding consultants to extend the existing visitor centre, where the café was struggling for capacity on busy days and the retail outlet was compromised by the fact that reception and educational spaces were under the same roof.

The solution was to float a new reception building between the existing centre and its remote toilet block, allowing the existing centre to function purely as shop and café, and facilitating the better management of visitor flows and ticketing.

The project received a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant, proceeded after some particular planning relating to the sites multiple landscape designations. The striking design of the Educational Facility has proved highly successful.