National Trust


Visitor experience design


Client: National Trust at Dyrham Park

Our role

Our work at Dyrham Park was unique, because we needed to deliver great customer experience while balancing the need to provide conservation and for the original design and style of the architecture. The two requirements seldom sit side by side in harmony, and finding the appropriate balance is tricky, but can be achieved through an integrated and considered design process.

Active Thinking were asked to work in tandem with the lead architect to undertake a complete review of the visitor experience at Dyrham Park to understand what visitors wanted from the experience and how this could be delivered in the future capital plan.

We did this by building a cross-functional team to establish an agreed understanding of how the site currently worked and then how it could work in the future – a new concept of operations. We ensured there was alignment across the different functional teams to obtain a common understanding and clear decision-making.


  • Integrated Visitor Experience model that integrates conservation plan

  • A refined brief that enables the design team to understand value