Blog: SECBE Awards 2022 finalist - Noviun Architects - Dukes Court

27 April 2022

Project of the Year under 10m sponsored by Hill Dickinson

Noviun Architects - Dukes Court (submitted by Noviun Architects) 

Building Project of the Year under £10m SECBE Award 2022 finalist

The project is part of the Woking business centre regeneration, which sees the town centre becoming a hub for art and innovation capable of competing with London for its offer to businesses and organisations. The city centre is seeing an unprecedented activity, with new developments and a remodelling of the urban context.

The project includes the re-design of the area to the front of the Dukes Court building, previously a car park, to create a pedestrian-only space linked to the plans for a pedestrian green bridge and the new cycling network. Feature planting areas promote biodiversity across the site and incorporate sustainable drainage systems through bio-retention. The species richness of the planting at ground level is echoed and augmented with the incorporation of a green roof to the new restaurant but also through substantial vertical planting of living green walls.

The form of the proposed newly accessible Dukes Street encourages accessibility through a rhythmic flowing landform softened by playful textural planting with light canopied tree planting contextually referencing the surrounding woodlands, promoting connections between the development, town and transport links.

The de-vehicularisation of Dukes Street has provided the opportunity to promote an accessible landscape within the public realm, encouraging shared access for both pedestrians and cyclists, with design features accommodating areas for rest, interaction and relaxation for those employed or visiting the Dukes Court offices or for those on route to the town centre or rail station.

The central focus of the entire scheme is the living wall, which is believed to be the tallest green wall in the UK, outside of London. Extensive consultation with the Local Authority took place to make sure that Woking’s vision for a biodiverse and sustainable town centre was reflected in the landscape and in the concept for the green wall. Incorporating bird boxes and insect hotels, alongside a plant palette that holds a variety of plants with different environmental properties, this constitutes an environmental asset and will positively impact the area. The living wall was designed to provide different sources of nectar, an alternative ecological habitat, using an ever-changing visual approach, incorporating flowers and a variety of pollinators to create seasonal pallets. 

There are a large number of species across the wall that have significant air purification properties, which will aid a healthier atmosphere in the immediate area of the plaza.

A new corten steel building, a commercial space designed to be a restaurant, acts as the mediator between the existing and the new. The smaller green wall to the northern elevation and the green roof perfectly integrates with the bio-diverse and green leitmotif. Materiality also enhances the context of the local built environment through colour and texture. Materials were selected to coordinate with the wider Woking urban regeneration and to complement the existing fabric.

The corten steel to the envelope compliments the red of the bricks of the Dukes Court building providing the building with a fresher image, in line with the re-brand of the complex and the town centre.

Key achievements:

  • UK’s largest Living Wall outside of London.

  • The de-vehicularisation of Dukes Street promotes an accessible landscape within the public realm, encouraging shared access for both pedestrians and cyclists

  • Forms a strong part of Woking's 2050 sustainability ambitions.


Client: Woking Borough Council

Project Partners: Noviun Architects, Dukes Court, Quantic Management, Pope Consulting, Farrans, Vectos, ANS Global


Find more about Noviun Architects:

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Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2022 Ceremony on Thurs 30th June 2022.


About the Building Project of the Year over £10m Award (sponsored by  Hill Dickinson) 

Project of the Year delivers outstanding outcomes for all those involved in a construction project.  It showcases the benefits achieved through the application of many of the principles described in the other award categories. More info.

>> Find out more about the other Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards finalists here

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