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For this competition, our proposal creates a dynamic and sustainable community arts centre at the heart of Woking's cultural and creative life.

The slender five-storey building is located on a narrow site adjacent to Victoria Way, the busy ring road around the town centre. The site provides the opportunity to improve pedestrian access between the town centre and Basingstoke Canal. The building maximizes the tranquil atmosphere along the canal and provides a stark contrast to the dense urban fabric of the town.

A public space is positioned at the end of the vista linking the site to the town centre. The building is an illuminated billboard on Victoria Way with a glazed all-weather café spanning the canal, allowing views in both directions. The intimate relationship with the canal is emphasized by a garden that opens onto the water at lower ground floor level.

Art galleries are places that encourage people to relax and linger. The design offers Woking a series of beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces for the benefit of those using the building and those passing by.

Client Woking Galleries
Total value £5m
Competition April 2002
Area 2,280 m2
QS Davis Langdon
Structure Atelier One
Building Services Max Fordham LLP
Landscape Edward Hutchison Landscape Architects

Culture and Community



©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW

©Dennis Gilbert/VIEW