THE Living Planet Centre flung open its doors this month as part of the national Heritage Open Days event.
Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.
During the day there was an exhibition on the story of the new building as well as the opportunity to see the architect’s model of the structure, boards from the design and planning process, and materials from the building. Hopkins Architects, responsible for the design of the Living Planet Centre, gave a talk on the process from design to completion.
WWF’s headquarters, which is one of the few buildings across the country to have achieved the BREEAM outstanding status, will also host a heritage trail between the Living Planet Centre and their neighbours at The Lightbox.
Director of People and Place at WWF-UK, Karen Gravestock, said: “Although our doors are open to the public during the week the Living Planet Centre is usually closed at the weekend, so we looked forward to welcoming people who have not been able to visit us before.
“It’s fantastic to be part of a national initiative that encourages us to appreciate the environment around us, and promotes architecture, including sustainable buildings like ours.”
Abi Hall, Learning Manager at The Lightbox, was happy to be working so closely with WWF. She added: “The Lightbox was designed by the architects of the London Eye, Marks Barfield, and the specially designed trail took families on an exploration around these two wonderful examples of modern architecture.
“In addition, we hosted free, drop-in, handling sessions with artefacts from The Lightbox’s History Collection. Katherine Higgins, well-known BBC vintage expert, also joined us for an ‘In Conversation with Vintage Beauty Experts’ session to reveal the secrets behind ever-so glamorous post Second World War beauty.
“It is so important to recognise the rich heritage in this country and we enjoy celebrating every year.”