If adaptation and re-purposing of heritage properties is a hallmark of their sustainable management, then the campus of advisory partner University of Greenwich provides a stellar example. The University occupies buildings known as the Old Royal Navy College, but which were designed as the Royal Hospital for Seamen by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1702.
The suite of buildings, which were recognized as part of the Maritime Greenwich UNESCO World Heritage listing, sits between the banks of the Thames and the hill rising to the the Royal Observatory just behind. Visitors enjoy the serene atmosphere, irresistible views and broad lawns separating the elegant structures.
The enormous Painted Hall is extravagantly decorated with paintings by Sir James Thornhill and is sometimes called the Sistine Chapel of England, but it originally served as the dining room for the retired sailors who lived at the Royal Hospital. The Painted Hall has recently undergone restoration: take a virtual tour here.
Symmetrically opposite from the Painted Hall, the Royal Chapel features more sober, classical decoration.
The University of Greenwich designed SHARE’s research activities and provided guidance and support to partners in order to improve their Local Action Plans. The University also hosted a public seminar on sustainable management of heritage tourism destinations, at which SHARE partners spoke.