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Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion, Barnet

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

A strong commitment to environmental responsibility won a 2024 RIBA London Award for Moxon’s centre to inform the public about the redevelopment masterplan

Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy


2024 RIBA London Award

Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion, Barnet
Moxon Architects for Related Argent
Contract value: Confidential 
GIA: 779m2

This three-storey pavilion, the first building in Brent Cross Town’s redevelopment masterplan, is both a precedent for developing a design ethos and a gateway to the newly developed centrepiece, Claremont Park. The project creates both private and public spaces for events, exhibitions, show apartments and offices, which, with a café, enables the public to learn about the masterplan. Its pair of short two-storey wings act as galleries off a central double-height space, with a rooftop terrace and more accommodation on the third storey. It is conceived with an eye towards sustainability and its inevitably changing role over time. Elegantly detailed, robust materials give flexibility and modularity, and resonate with its parkland setting.

  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
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On visiting the building, the jury was struck by how calm it felt. There is a strong sense of design confidence and care, which extends from the exterior’s robust, super-thin gabion cages at ground level and larch panels above, to the interiors with their spruce cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (glulam) structure with wood-wool acoustic panel ceilings. All these come together to create a strong sense of intimacy, warmth and quiet in what could have been a hangar-like space.

It was obvious from talking to the architect and client that sustainability, and the evidence of environmental responsibility, was a key driver. The building acts as a beacon and a milestone for the larger redevelopment, where the developers pledge to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. All the structural components are formed from sustainably sourced timber, and the building serves as an exemplar of CLT and glulam design. With its predominant use of off-site fabricated timber as a structural, finishing and weathering material to contribute to carbon sequestration, it is often used as a demonstration piece for other designers. Passive measures were also deployed, influencing building orientation, layout and form, with glazing optimised against views and solar penetration. The adoption of circular economy principles ensured reusable/recyclable materials were employed, and prefabrication off-site minimised the waste often associated with steel and concrete construction. Finally, the design minimises CO2 emissions through the use of heat pumps for all the building’s heating, accounting for 60% of all on-site energy generation without the need for gas.

  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
  • Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
    Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion. Simon Kennedy
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The jury felt that not only was this an extremely accomplished building which made design look effortless, calm and welcoming, but that it had been designed with longevity and flexibility in mind. It should thus be able to live out the values it espouses for the community coalescing around it over the long term, and become much loved.

See the rest of the RIBA London winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Red Construction
Environmental/M&E engineer Expedition
Services engineer Loop Engineering

 

Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd
Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd
Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd
Credit: Moxon Architects Ltd

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