The Living Planet Centre, within Woking town centre, sits alongside the Basingstoke Canal. The brief required the existing public car park at ground level to be retained.
The building sits on a raised in-situ concrete podium, whose perimeter has been planted with shrubs, trees and flowers. A bridge from the town centre leads to a public piazza at podium level, connecting through to an internal public exhibition space.
The accommodation is arranged over two storeys and serves as the headquarters for WWF-UK. The 80m long curved timber gridshell spans 37.5m, providing long-term flexibility for WWF. The building houses an open-plan workplace for some 300 staff, a 150 seat conference venue, education support facilities and the WWF Experience exhibit.
At ground level, the existing trees have been retained and a new wetlands area created to provide a wildlife corridor from the Basingstoke Canal to Horsell Moor. This enhances the public realm onto the canal.
The design aimed to maximise on-site sustainable features and the project has been awarded the BREEAM 'Outstanding' rating. Hopkins also provided interior design services throughout the project.