Brent Cross Town Electricity Substation

Civil, Structural, MEP, VT, Acoustic, Fire Engineer, Sustainability, Utilities and Infrastructure Engineer: Arup | Architect: IF_DO | Collaborating artist: Lakwena | Executive Lighting Consultants: Michael Grubb Studio | Photography: Jason Hawkes

Creating a new London landmark, the public artwork at the Brent Cross Town electricity substation is one of the largest in the UK.

Brent Cross Town is one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe. Over the next 15 years, Related Argent and Barnet Council, will transform an overlooked, underprovided area into a thriving, inclusive net zero carbon town. This 180-acre development will create nearly 7,000 new homes, a new knowledge and innovation hub with three million square feet of office space, a new high street and fifty acres of parks and playing fields.

Sustainable And Attractive

Providing electricity and low-carbon heating and cooling for the entire district, the Brent Cross Town substation is a key part of the redevelopment. Global engineering firm, Arup, led the structural design for the substation, creating an innovative and sustainable solution with a focus on minimising the environmental impact.

The substation sits at the junction of the A406 North Circular at the junction with the M1 motorway. It is also adjacent to the Thameslink railway line, where it can be seen by an estimated 6 million commuters every year. As a result, the development team wanted to turn the substation into an attractive landmark that would help to define the identity of Brent Cross Town.

A New London Landmark

Designed by celebrated London artist, Lakwena and architect firm IF_DO, the new artwork is called ‘Here we come, here we rise’. The brightly coloured design is 20 m high and 54 m long and completely encloses the substation.

Lakwena is well-known for her joyful technicolour murals and graphical text poetry, and has applied her signature colour, pattern, and language to the design. Working with Lakwena, IF_DO created a unique structure and façade design comprised of four undulating bands and triangular-shaped “lenticular” panels that create a kaleidoscopic visual effect to emphasise the idea of movement as viewers move around the structure.

Lighting Design

Michael Grubb Studio was appointed by Related Argent, one of the UK’s leading developer-owner-operators, as Executive Lighting Consultant for this project, delivering and finalising the lighting details of the scheme, which was designed by Arup. They also ensured that the lighting design aligned with the overall lighting Masterplan for Brent Cross Town.

The resulting design discreetly places LED lights around the top of the facade’s wrap to attract attention both during the day and at night. The lights create a halo which filters down through the structure, allowing the light to fade away at lower level.

High Quality LED Lighting

Having previously worked with Michael Grubb Studio on other projects in London and across the UK, they contacted us to supply the LED lights for the installation. Architainment provided 150 Ecosense Trov Flex L09 LED luminaires. These all-silicone, flexible luminaires are suitable for both exterior and interior use. With a narrow beam angle and fitted with louvres to reduce glare, they were the ideal solution to highlight this stunning new monument.

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