Hopkins Architects has completed this ‘super-green’ headquarters for environmental charity WWF in Woking
The two-storey Living Planet Centre, which features a curved timber grid shell roof, houses 300-staff in open plan offices with conference and educational facilities.
Offices spaces are arranged around a double-height internal street.
The building also includes an exhibition designed by Jason Bruges Studio, featuring four zones each reflecting a different environmental theme and area of the organisation’s work.
The project is aiming to achieve BREEAM Outstanding.
The architect’s view
‘This building actively regenerates and improves the site and is built on a raised fair-faced concrete podium above a retained car park. To reflect and enhance the rich surrounding ecology and biodiversity, the building has been designed to limit its impact on the site and this podium is flanked by a series of green, planted spaces filled with trees, shrubs and flowers.
‘The building itself is constructed of a dramatic and structurally-efficient 37.5 meter wide curving timber grid shell composed of crossing glued-laminated timber trusses. These are capped with a zinc roof featuring photovoltaic panels for energy production and large metal wind cowls to help ventilate the building. Eastern and western ends are glazed, with timber louvres providing protection against solar gain. Work space is arranged around a double-height internal street which adds focus and intensity to the environment. The open-span nature of the building’s structure allows for easy future adjustment of internal partitions and layout to thoroughly future-proof the building.
‘A new bridge from the town centre has been constructed which leads to the public piazza at podium level to further connect the building with the community. Surrounding the site, existing trees have been retained and a new wetlands area created to provide a nature corridor from the Basingtsoke Canal to Horsell Moor and enhance the public realm along the historic canal.’
Source: Richard Stonehouse
Location Woking, UK
Client Worldwide Fund for Nature UK
Architect Hopkins Architects
Engineer Expedition Engineering
Environmental engineer Atelier Ten
Landscaping Grant Associates
Contractor Willmott Dixon
Cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald
Project manager Doherty Baines
Exhibition design Jason Bruges Studio
Footprint Live: The Green Rethink
Featuring Sir Terry Farrell, founding partner of Farrells, Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage and Patrick Bellew of Atelier Ten, Footprint Live: The Green Rethink is taking place on Tuesday 26 November at the Royal College of Physicians in London.
With case studies, analysis and critical business insight, Footprint Live: The Green Rethink is the opportunity to get the insider information you need to skill up your business and win more work.
Hopkins’ WWF headquarters opens