The World Wildlife Fund has been making huge waves in the environmental movement since it was established five decades ago, and is now taking its mission yet another step further by applying it to architecture. RAU Architecture’s organically shaped design was selected from a variety of candidates as the new look for the WWF Netherlands headquarters based on the fact that the RAU proposed using the existing building as the crux of the new one instead of demolishing it. Completed in 2006, the building has remarkable sustainable innovations that allow it to be entirely self-sufficient, carbon neutral, and a wonderful work environment for employees. What we love even more is that RAU’s design does not sacrifice architectural style in order to achieve its environmental goals.

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In the reconstructed WWF offices, RAU salvaged most of the existing building, but vamped it up with an eye-catching three-story, vascular shaped addition. The exterior is covered in tiles made from local river clay, and the interior serves as a link between the east and west of the building. Housing an exhibition space, reception hall and call center on the lower levels, the space also acts a place for employees to mingle. Additionally, the center area has a mud ceiling laced with a capillary system of tubes that channel water to regulate heating and cooling. Operating upon principles found in geothermal technology, this system is even more efficient than radiant flooring.

RAU also incorporated many sustainable upgrades in the pre-existing areas of the building. Triple glazed windows with wooden louvers allow for adjustable lighting. Felt is used for acoustical dampening. All of the additional finishes include recycled content and are screened for fair labor practices. Photovoltaic panels line the roof, and part of the façade has bricks that act as nests for birds and bats.

+ WWF International

+ RAU Architecture