Woodland Trust Headquarters
In Brief

The Woodland Trust


Construction value:

October 2010

An unusual office building clad in larch, designed to give the feeling of being among trees, with an enclosed woodland glade at its heart.

The Woodland Trust’s new offices are on a greenfield site and we were keen to create a ‘woodland experience’ from the moment people arrive. Staff and visitors are welcomed through a central garden space planted with birch trees, which encourages a range of interactions by providing both an informal meeting area and a place for eating lunch outdoors.

The building ascends in a spiral and thus makes a dynamic transition from landscape to building.  External timber cladding and decorative wood panelling internally express the core mission of the Trust and reflect the surrounding landscape. Internal spaces are grouped around a top-lit atrium, which is both reception area and staff breakout space, large enough to allow the 200 staff to come together for special occasions.

The client was keen for the building to be as energy efficient as possible, sitting lightly in its surrounding landscape. Three storey vertical windows on the north and south elevations provide natural light and ventilation, and the timber structure has been modified in a highly innovative way to increase thermal mass.

A series of ‘concrete radiators’ – concrete boxes fixed to the timber panelling inside - provide the necessary extra mass for passive heating and cooling.  We calculate that the CLT structure and timber cladding saved nearly 650 tCO2e in comparison to a concrete frame, making the building carbon negative and offsetting five years of operational carbon. The building achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

CIBSE Case Study: Trees of Knowledge, CIBSE Journal 2014

Selected Awards

2011 RIBA Award: Winner

2011 British Construction Industry Award: Building Project £3m-£50m: Highly 

2011 AJ100 Award: Building of the Year: Shortlist 

2011 BCO Award: Corporate Workplace National Award: Shortlist and Corporate Workplace Regional East Midlands Award: Winner

2011 Building Award: Building Magazine Project of The Year: Shortlist

Quote Image
"The vision, attention to detail and technical knowledge of FCBS, whilst always keeping an eye on costs, has been amazing. The building is proof that innovation and sustainability does not need to carry a cost premium."
Julian Purvis Director of Corporate Resources, Woodland Trust
"The engineered timber and concrete radiators are placed at one polite remove from their natural materiality with a wash of white. It is this subtle mix of materials, plus the furniture and the form of the building, which provide its warm but airy character."
Eleanor Young RIBA Journal
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