Export House

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Export House
Export House.JPG
General information
Status Complete
Type Office
Location Woking, Surrey, England
UK
Completed 1974
Height
Roof 73 metres (240 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 15
Lifts/elevators 4

Export House, located in Woking, United Kingdom, also known sometimes as the BAT Building[1][2][3] due to its former tenant British American Tobacco, is the tallest building in Woking and one of the tallest buildings in Surrey.[1] Its height is 73 metres (240 ft)[4] and has 18 storeys (15 floors above ground).

History[edit]

Export House formed part of the first major town centre development in the second largest town in Surrey, Woking, post-war. It was built at the same time as the Wolsey Place Shopping Centre, which is a contiguous building. Export House is the tallest building in the borough of Woking. Construction of Export House finished in 1974 although it was not ready for tenants until 1976 which is when the first lessee, BAT, began to lease the whole building.

Export House within Woking's skyline

Tenants and lessees[edit]

In 1976, British American Tobacco (BAT) moved in as the first tenant, making it their headquarters. Export House had already been completed two years previously in 1974. In 1997 it was announced that BAT were relocating to a new building in London.[2] Telewest moved into Export House during Summer 2001 after a £15million refurbishment.[5] Telewest had rented the top six floors for about a year before they moved permanently to Export House. Their previous base was in Sheerwater. However, Telewest left in 2006 after a merger with NTL.[6] In 2008 Mustang Engineering moved into Export House.[7]

It is now occupied by the Mouchel Group PLC,[8] who moved from West Hall in nearby West Byfleet.

Future[edit]

A nearby development called Victoria Way has been approved. The tower of this development would have been two metres taller than Export House. The development has been on hold for a couple of years. In 2012 the design of Victoria Way changed to a 15-floor office block. [9][10]

Wildlife[edit]

A pair of Peregrine Falcons nest on top of the building.[1] These birds are rare, but they are often seen flying around Woking. The RSPB requested that people should not disturb the pair of Falcons.

A side view of Export House

Architecture[edit]

Export House is a Brutalist style architecture that was common in the 1960s and 70s similar to towers such as London's Guy's Hospital and Trellick Tower. In Surrey, comparable buildings are the Chubb Tower, Sunbury on Thames and just across the Surrey border from Ewell (beside the A3 northeast of Claygate), the Tolworth Tower, Tolworth. Export House has stairs all the way to the top on one side of the building as well as two lifts. The building also has many radio and telecom masts on the roof. Export House dominates the skyline of Woking.

Location[edit]

The building is located above Wolsey Place Shopping Centre in Woking, Surrey. The entrance is right next to the main entrance of Wolsey Place from the west side. Beneath the shopping centre is a private, gated car park underneath; opposite is a multi-storey car park. Export House is therefore on Cawsey Way in the town centre.

Export House and other buildings (such as New Central and Centrium) of central Woking's skyline are clearly visible from the Hog's Back, the narrow western ridge of the North Downs 7 miles (11 km) south, the closest point of these downs is Guildown the start of the range to the west of Guildford and Pewley Down the start of the downs to the east of Guildford. [11]

Public Access[edit]

The building has occasionally been open to the public on tours for Heritage Open Days.[12] Tours last for approximately 30 minutes. The last open day to date appears to have been 2010.

Gallery[edit]

The first two pictures were taken during December 2011. A large Christmas Tree configuration of lights formed part of Woking's Christmas celebrations.

Further reading[edit]

Crosby, Alan "A History Of Woking" (Phillimore, 2003)

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Get Wokingham Trinity Mirror series local newspapers article Falcons in Export House
  2. ^ a b Get Surrey Trinity Mirror series local newspapers article [1]
  3. ^ Press release from local councillor [2]
  4. ^ BBC Surrey In pictures: View from the Birdstop of the Hogs Back slide 4 [3]
  5. ^ Telewest takes over Export House [4]
  6. ^ Digitalspy article on Telewest move [5]
  7. ^ Press release on Mustang office relocation [6]
  8. ^ LSE listing for Mouchel [7]
  9. ^ [8]
  10. ^ [9]
  11. ^ Grid reference Finder measurement tools
  12. ^ Building tours info [10]

Coordinates: 51°19′20.76″N 0°34′14.17″W / 51.3224333°N 0.5706028°W / 51.3224333; -0.5706028