Scott Brownrigg’s extensive refurbishment of commercial office building, Victoria Gate in Woking has been shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Offices (5,000-10,000 sq m) Award.
The building is one of 140 projects shortlisted across 10 categories including housing, cultural, heritage, office and education buildings.
Run by The Architects’ Journal, the awards recognise and celebrate design, engineering and construction excellence that prolongs and improves the life of the built environment. With £500 billion likely to be spent over the next three decades on upgrading existing housing, commercial and industrial buildings, retrofits will play a significant part of the future of the construction industry.
Scott Brownrigg originally designed and delivered Victoria Gate in 1986 for Norwich Union. The building’s design was pioneering at its time, utilising new techniques in unitised curtain walling and slim efficient construction methods. (See full Retrospective of Victoria Gate in the iA Publication, Issue 4).
Thirty years later, Scott Brownrigg revisited the building to bring it up to 21st Century standards for the competitive commercial market. Originally appointed to undertake a simpler interior refurbishment commission, it became apparent during the feasibility stages that exploring options to re-use the existing 1980’s structure could bring a more attractive longer-term solution for client AVIVA Investors.
By bringing the original outboard external column structure inside to extend the floor plates beyond the original envelope, infilling the former courtyard and by adding a new fifth floor, a further 25% lettable space has been delivered for the client. In addition, a strategy for a total visual rebrand for the 63,375 sq ft building was undertaken to appeal to a speculative tenant.