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FIRST LOOK

Scott Brownrigg retrofits an office the practice built in 1985

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The reworking of Victoria Gate in Woking, a commercial office building for Aviva Investors, sees the addition of 25 per cent lettable floor space

Originally designed by Scott Brownrigg in 1985, the Victoria Gate building in Woking has been stripped back to the original frame and extensively modernised, meaning it is now a BREEAM Excellent building. 

The refurbished scheme brings the original ‘out-board’ external column structure inside, allowing an extension of the original footprint beyond the existing envelope, with extended cantilevered floorplates and new fifth floor providing the additional space. The fifth floor is set back from the façade, enabling the creation of a new roof terrace at the front of the building to the west. 

The 1980s external façades have been replaced with a new silicone-pointed curtain walling system to the north, east and west, enveloping the existing structure. Sitting over this curtain walling is new diagonal structural bracing. On the east elevation, a new stair core made from composite panels has a translucent glass glazed central portion. 

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The cantilevered floors, rationalisation of the internal space and creation of a double-height reception space have created a more accessible entrance area set back at ground and first floor levels from the main building façade. In addition the former open car park – located at the centre of the plan – has been infilled at ground floor level to create a full-height, glazed atrium to help maximise light to the lower floors.

Parking for 61 cars is provided in the basement together with 60 secure cycle spaces, lockers, and new shower and changing facilities, reflecting Woking’s green agenda and connecting to the town’s CCHP network ‘Thameswey’.

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Architect’s view

We were excited to be given the opportunity to revisit one of our original office developments from 1985 and bring it into the 21st century. The original building provided cutting-edge office space in the 1980s and we were charged with re-imagining how the building could evolve for 2018. The new feature entrance, lightwell atrium and stunning roof terrace have created the most exciting commercial space in the area.

Ed Hayden, director, Scott Brownrigg

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Project data

Start on site March 2016
Completion February 2018
Gross internal floor area 6,700m²
Form of contract or procurement route Design & Build
Construction cost £12.8 million
Construction cost per m2 £1,900
Architect Scott Brownrigg
Client Aviva Investors
Structural engineer Campbell Reith
M&E consultant Desco (design and consultancy) Limited
QS Madlins
Acoustic consultant Ion Acoustics Ltd
Project manager Potter Raper Partnership
CDM coordinator Springs Building Consultancy
Approved building inspector Butler & Young
Main contractor Gilbert Ash
CAD software used Revit (BIM Level 1)
Annual CO2 emissions 22.7kg/m²

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