Brent Cross Town, Argent Related’s and Barnet Council’s 180-acre, £7bn neighbourhood, has opened its first building - The Visitor Pavilion. The 8,000 square foot temporary space was designed by Moxon Architects and specialist engineers Expedition, with the fit-out by Woods Bagot and construction by RED Construction Group. The Visitor Pavilion incorporates a new café, alongside an exhibition space, designed by dn&co, showcasing the vision for the new park town, its homes, workspaces, leisure and community spaces. Visitors will also be able to experience the future homes of Brent Cross Town in two show apartments on the upper floors.

Member Article

Brent Cross Town opens the visitor pavilion and welcomes new retailers to the area

Brent Cross Town, Argent Related’s and Barnet Council’s 180-acre, £7bn neighbourhood, has opened its first building - The Visitor Pavilion. The 8,000 square foot temporary space was designed by Moxon Architects and specialist engineers Expedition, with the fit-out by Woods Bagot and construction by RED Construction Group. The Visitor Pavilion incorporates a new café, alongside an exhibition space, designed by dn&co, showcasing the vision for the new park town, its homes, workspaces, leisure and community spaces. Visitors will also be able to experience the future homes of Brent Cross Town in two show apartments on the upper floors.

The striking timber framed building serves as the entrance to Claremont Way, NW2 and new culinary offerings. Karma Bread bakery and Cricklewood Coffee Roasters are set to open early in the New Year, along with a new pizzeria. Both brands are locally-based or owned and share a focus on local economic development, offering employment and training opportunities. Each of the new occupiers combines production and distribution with a customer-facing offer, ensuring that they can successfully flex to meet varying customer demands whilst maintaining a daytime amenity for the local area.

At The Visitor Pavilion, the ground floor space includes the new locally run public café, Spruce & Larch, which will incorporate plants that customers can buy. The space is also designed as a gallery for exhibitions and events, with a permanent exhibition about the Brent Cross Town development and one of the large-scale neighbourhood models. It will be a space for Brent Cross Town to host events and support local initiatives. Upstairs are meeting rooms and more display spaces, and an open-air viewing terrace with views across the whole of the development. Outside, is a beautifully planted garden area, created by Townshend Landscape Architects.

The Visitor Pavilion embodies Brent Cross Town’s pledge to be net zero by 2030. It is designed with low impact materials, including Glulam beams and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) prefabricated panels, chosen for their lowered embodied carbon footprint, and faster build time which generates less construction waste. Off-site manufacture and energy-efficient operating systems were chosen, and all materials have been considered for reusability or recycling once the structure is dismantled.

The Visitor Pavilion and Claremont Way lead into the new Exploratory Park, designed by East architects and recently won a New London Architecture design award. This area is set to come alive with events and markets, as the new town centre is constructed around it.

Nick Searl, Partner of Argent Related said: “The opening of The Visitor Pavilion and the announcement of exciting new local retailers, are very exciting milestones for Brent Cross Town. We are looking forward to welcoming local people into the new space and to the new restaurants, cafés and bakery which will deliver great food and experiences for the community from the very beginning of the development.”

Graham Sturge, Co-founder and MD of RED Construction Group, added: “This high-profile project is a great example of how alternative materials such as CLT, can be used effectively and successfully in construction. We are proud to have worked alongside the teams and to have applied our in-depth knowledge and expertise to deliver the highly sustainable vision within the Visitor Pavilion and so this space can be used and enjoyed by the community.”

Councillor Daniel Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council, said: “With the first indoor community space, and a host of new shops about to open on Claremont Way, it’s an exciting time for Barnet’s biggest ever regeneration programme. With a focus on supporting independent businesses and local recruitment, it’s good to see community at the heart of the Brent Cross Town development. I hope the new Visitor Pavilion will encourage people to come and find out more about the future plans for the area.”

Tim Murray, Director of Moxon Architects said: “A closely coordinated collaborative effort was required to deliver The Visitor Pavilion for Brent Cross Town, not least because the design and majority of the construction occurred offsite during the lockdown at the height of the pandemic. The predominant use of timber as a structural, finishing and weathering material contributes to the sequestration of carbon in the building fabric and defines the building’s appearance. Every aspect of this building has been designed for long term durability and ease of repurposing in the future: whether to enable the adaptation of the structure for alternative uses or to dismantle and reuse valuable materials for new buildings down the line. The principles of the circular economy have governed each stage of the design and specification process, with offsite manufacturing minimising waste and the incorporation of recycled material into the substructure and the building envelope.”

Alessandro Maccioni, Associate Director, Expedition, said: “Being a temporary structure, circularity and low carbon design principles were fundamental to design team decisions from the outset. The resulting pavilion is a beautiful and unique timber structure that creates an environment that promotes wellbeing and will serve the local community.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Libby Gilbert .

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