The World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) beautiful Living Planet Center in Woking, England has achieved BREEAM Outstanding. Designed by Jason Bruges Studio, the solar-powered complex, which serves as a home base for 300 employees, boasts a slew of naturally-lit conference, educational and exhibition facilities. A fantastic example of inspired green building, the center helps to spread the group’s commitment to nature conservation.
Bruges gave the façade of the LPC a louvered timber façade that not only blends with the lush landscape, but also gently filters in natural light to the two story structure. The building itself is comprised of crossing timber grids elevated to limit its environmental impact and continue the louvered effect. The grid meets a zinc roof that is topped with a photovoltaic array that powers the interior. A series of rooftop wind vents flush fresh air into the interior naturally, giving a cooling effect without using energy.
The out timber casing covers a glazed glass shell that keeps out excess solar gain while letting in as much natural light into the exhibition spaces as possible. These spaces are divided with removable walls that create a flexible space that be adjusted as need be for exhibitions, staff fluctuations, or special lectures or educational needs.
The grounds along the perimeter of the building are landscaped with trees, shrubs and flowers to emulate the native flora, including a new wetland that creates a wildlife link between the center and the historic Basingstoke Canal. In addition to the versatile BREEAM Living Planet Center, the architects also designed the WWF Experience, a new installation at the buildings’ entrance that invites visitors to interact with forest, river, ocean and wildlife zones.