RAU Architects convert existing into sustainable office for World Wildlife Fund. The RAU Architects firm has restored an old agricultural laboratory in the Schoonoord nature preserve near Utrecht. The building, which was built in 1954 and had not been used for a few years, is now the Dutch WWF headquarters. The Amsterdam firm’s design was the winner of a 2002 . It did not call for the demolition of the existing building but for the restoration of the laboratories and significant renovations to improve energy efficiency building, reduce the impact on the surrounding and create modern, light-filled work spaces. A new, amorphous building breaks the conventional space of the existing structure and houses, in a single large area, the entranceway, reception area, exhibition spaces and call center. These areas are connected by a large steel and wood spiral staircase. The building’s walls are on the outside and mud laced with bamboo stalks on the inside. The entrance to thebuilding is reached by a bridge over a small pool of water, which also gives the newbuilding more light. The northern building block, which accommodates the press and conference centre rests on supports coated with chips of wood. A station on the roof provides energy and all installations run on vegetable oil.
The are located in the east and west wings of the old building, whose form has been left essentially untouched but whose façade has been completely renovated with glass, some transparent and some opaque.
Construction materials were brought in from all over the world and have been employed in such a way as to take maximum advantage of their [innate] . The end result is a building that is self-sustaining in terms of energy and emits no CO2.