Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, it is one of the most important ensembles in European baroque architecture. Today, the site is managed by the Greenwich Foundation with the majority of buildings occupied by the University of Greenwich and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
The Greenwich Foundation came into being in 1998 following attempts by the then Government to sell the Royal Naval College buildings on the open market amid widespread concerns as to their future use. The role of the Foundation is to conserve the entire site and optimise public benefit while ensuring financial sustainability. In practice, after 18 years, this is becoming increasingly difficult as the popularity of the site grows, greater numbers visit with ever increasing expectations of a high quality experience and the aspirations of the site partners blossom.
Fourth Street was originally commissioned to provide visitor forecasts for the principal attractions that make up the Old Royal Naval College namely, The Painted Hall, The Chapel and the Visitor Centre. These projections and the supporting analysis helped to secure the Heritage Lottery Fund’s grant award of £3.1m towards the £8m cost of the Painted Hall conservation project.
Following on from this success, Fourth Street led the preparation of a master plan for the entire site, in partnership with Ian Ritchie Architects. The master plan is framed over 15yrs and identifies and prioritises a range of investments to conserve the assets, enable its site partners to flourish, deliver outstanding experiences and establish a sustainable long term business model.
Most recently, Fourth Street has assisted the directors and trustees in assessing the options and implications of introducing admission charges at the Painted Hall.