Scott Brownrigg has completed the redevelopment of Victoria Gate in Woking. The speculative 63,375 sq ft commercial office building for Aviva Investors, which was originally designed by Scott Brownrigg in 1985, has been stripped back to the original frame, extensively modernised and extended to increase its appeal to the competitive commercial market.
Scott Brownrigg’s design for the BREEAM Excellent building is both elegant and contemporary, working in harmony with its original fabric and other new developments happening within Woking Town Centre. Located opposite Hopkins’ WWF building, Victoria Gate has further enhanced this prominent gateway route through Woking, with a landmark that references the original design and expresses key structural features externally from the primary entrance elevation.
Ed Hayden, Scott Brownrigg Director responsible for the design said: “We were very excited to be given the opportunity to revisit one of our original office developments from 1985 and bring it into the 21st Century. The original building provided cutting edge office space in the 1980’s and we were charged with re-imagining how the building could evolve for 2018 and recent developments in BCO standards. Fantastic new features such as the central atrium with its feature light wall and the new entertainment terrace, protected by a fully cantilevered ‘blade edge’ roof make this the most exciting new commercial space in the area."
In retaining the building’s original design integrity, the refurbished scheme brings the original ‘out-board’ external column structure inside, partially on the first floor and fully on the remaining floors. This has allowed for an extension to the original footprint, beyond the existing envelope, with extended cantilevered floor plates and a new fifth floor helping to provide an additional 25% of lettable floor space.
The cantilevered floors and a rationalization of the internal space and external entrance have also enabled the creation of a new double height reception space. The new, more accessible entrance area is set back at ground and first floor levels from the main building façade; highlighted with a dynamic anodized finish it provides a covered double height space framed by original circular structural columns. Exterior LED lighting illuminates the electric blue soffits and enhances the key architectural features within this area.
A former courtyard located in the centre of the plan has been infilled at ground floor level to create a stunning full height, glazed atrium, with a back-lit stretched fabric feature wall, which floods the original lower floors with light.
The additional fifth floor of accommodation has replaced the original pitched roof and is set back from the façade. This has enabled the creation of a new roof terrace at the front of the building, on the west, allowing for views over Horsell Common. It also provides new areas for top floor plant equipment. The over sail ‘floating’ roof feature is indirectly illuminated from the fifth floor balcony area using further LED lighting.
The material palette has been designed to refresh the existing building and create a contemporary office space which enhances and revitalises the existing building and surrounding area. The original 1980’s external facades have been replaced with a new silicone pointed curtain walling system on the north, east and west facades, which envelopes the existing structure. Sitting over this curtain walling is new diagonal structural bracing. On the east elevation, a new stair core made from composite panels, with a feature translucent glass glazed central portion, allows diffused light both in during the day and out at night. Precast composite panels to the south façade, finished in a complementary colour have been incorporated to match the striking palette of the metal elements upon the façade. Parking for 61 cars is provided in the basement car park together with 60 secure cycle spaces, 60 lockers, and new shower and changing facilities. This reflects Woking’s green agenda which includes the connection to the towns CCHP network ‘Thameswey’.