Award for WWF’s Woking HQ office design

WWF-UK’s headquarters in Woking has been named among the best workplaces in the country at the British Council for Offices (BCO) annual National Awards.

The event, hosted virtually by broadcaster Jeremy Vine, recognises top quality office design.

The WWF-UK headquarters were named one of the best workplaces in the UK by the British Council of Offices

The Living Planet Centre, WWF-UK’s headquarters, won the Test of Time Award. The office was said to have pushed the boundaries of innovation and sustainability in the workplace when it was constructed in 2013, and since then has become a global hub for environmental education and a local treasure.

The BCO judges highlighted the site’s comprehensive and creative use of environmental features as its crowning achievement. The building’s use of on-site sustainable features such as ground source heat pumps and natural ventilation saw it awarded an “outstanding” BREEAM rating, exhibiting the Living Planet Centre’s status as a pioneer in environmental sustainability.

The building’s use of sustainable features such as ground source heating and natural air vents won it an “Outstanding” rating from BREEAM

“We are delighted to have won the BCO Test of Time Award for the Living Planet Centre on behalf of WWF-UK,” said a spokesman for Hopkins Architects, the firm behind the project.

“The whole world is more focused on environmental issues than it was six years ago so if this project helped raise people’s awareness about the link between architecture and sustainability that is a good thing.

“The project always had very strong environmental credentials in terms of energy use, but was perhaps more unusual in that it didn’t take up a new site. Instead, the council allowed us to locate the building over the existing Brewery Road Car Park, which was initially seen as very radical.

“Hopefully, over this time, the building has proved itself not only as a stimulating place to work but also as an exemplar landmark in the Woking townscape and something locals can be proud of too.”

The Living Planet Centre’s innovative design was the key to it’s winning the Test of Time Award, becoming a hub for environmetnal education and a treasured loal landmark

Another awards winner was the UK Hydrographic Office Headquarters in Taunton, which took the prize of Best Corporate Workplace before winning the grand prize of Best of the Best office for 2021.

Tony Hordon, chair of the National Judging Committee, said: “The headquarters of WWF-UK and the UK Hydrographic Office are phenomenal buildings. Not only are they impressive and forward-thinking spaces inside, but they demonstrate the value of developments that connect and interact with the communities around them. Both should be looked at as truly stellar examples of large-scale office development, and thoroughly deserve their awards.”

Richard Kauntze, chief executive of the BCO, said: “We consider ourselves lucky to have developments like these leading the way and acting as beacons within their local community. Their complexity and ingenuity reflect both the strength of our sector and the increasing demands placed upon it to deliver market-leading work environments. A big congratulations to everyone behind the Hydrographic Office HQ and WWF Living Planet Centre, their success is incredibly well-deserved.”

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