The aim is to provide a state-of-the-art sustainable building to replace WWF-UK’s current premises in Godalming.
The environmentally intelligent building with timber arched roof will allow the organisation to showcase its work through the building itself – with sustainable building technologies – including a specifically designed area to create the ‘WWF Experience’ for visitors.
The £15m Living Planet Centre is being built on the Brewery Road car park site in Woking. Willmott Dixon will also provide replacement car parking for Woking Borough Council on completion and a new Basingstoke Canal bridge.
David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK, said: “It’s fantastic we can work with Willmott Dixon to create an outstanding example of a sustainable building. The building will have the highest standards in environmental design, reduce our carbon footprint, showcase innovative technologies, promote sustainable working and welcome many visitors to learn about our work.”
John Waterman, managing director for Willmott Dixon’s Cobham office: “We are tremendously proud as a Surrey based office to be involved in delivering such an important project for the region. The focus on making WWF-UK’s new HQ a low carbon, sustainable facility also fits neatly with our ethos and track record for creating buildings that operate in harmony with the environment. The Living Planet Centre will show what can be achieved in this regard with the leadership and vision shown by WWF-UK.”
The design, by Hopkins Architects, sits the new building on a raised podium over the existing car park whose perimeter will be planted with shrubs, trees and flowers. A new wetlands area, coupled with existing trees on site, will provide an area promoting ecology from the canal to Horsell Common, showing how urban facilities such as car parks can be transformed and revitalised.