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Brent Cross West Station


The new station entrance provides an inviting gateway in to the development; a 13m high mass timber canopy provides a welcoming vista of Station Square and its collection of buildings.
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The new station entrance provides an inviting gateway in to the development; a 13m high mass timber canopy provides a welcoming vista of Station Square and its collection of buildings.

The project draws on the design ethos of the wider masterplan, ensuring sustainability and biophilia are part of a unique green arrival experience; hanging planters cascade down from the canopy giving the sense that the landscape is being drawn up through the building; whilst the 150m3 timber frame aims to minimise the buildings carbon footprint and provide a sleek contemporary architecture.

Barnet, London
Argent Related
Completed 2023
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Studio Egret West has developed designs for the new station’ eastern entrance building. The design includes a 13m high timber structure and growing frame that brings the themes of nature and sustainability directly into the arrival spaces of an ambitious new neighbourhood. The new station entrance building provides new pedestrian routes to ease pedestrian flow throughout the station.

The location of the eastern entrance opens new opportunities to the lower levels of the future adjacent plots where Studio Egret West and shedkm are both architects for the buildings on either side. Together, these two buildings will provide around 350,000sqft of office space, with temporary hoarding to either side of the eastern entrance erected in preparation for their future construction and for the safety of users.

Brent Cross West station is the first major new mainline station in London in over a decade. It is part of the Thameslink route, situated between Hendon and Cricklewood stations, with direct connections to both Luton and Gatwick airports, Eurostar services from London St Pancras, and Brighton. At peak times, there will be up to eight passenger trains per hour and it is expected that over 2 million journeys will be made by people from the station in its first full year of operation, rising to 5 million once the Brent Cross Cricklewood transformation is fully completed in 2031.

The ambition was to create a journey from station to square that is as seamless and as free from obstruction as possible. This has led to the station access being laid out with the stairs and escalators running directly in front of the bridge entrance, providing an intuitive free flowing route to the station square below. The 13m high cantilevered canopy sits on a column grid that is offset from the centre to allow a clear pedestrian route and provide a vista of the Station Square.­­

LR Brent Cross 20006 202 Plaza
CGI of future square and commercial buildings


In order to give the eastern entrance a presence in the midst of the Brent Cross South masterplan, the proposal provides an open vista towards the future location of Station Square with a generous public space. The height and massing of the station entrance aligns with the height of the station footbridge that connects to, as well as the future adjacent plots it sits between.

The entrance and layout has been designed on the principle that less is more. By keeping the notion of an enclosure to as limited an experience as possible for functional purposes, the entrance provides a compelling and open arrival for the Brent Cross South masterplan. The use of timber for the roof canopy provides a strong architectural relationship for the entrance itself, acting as a visual landmark for the Brent Cross West station for arrival and exit.

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This idea of creating subtle moments to pause along the journey also influenced the decision to create a landing midway between bridge and street level. The landing breaks an otherwise continuous stair creating a more inviting route and encouraging the use of the staircase.­

The canopy is designed to be fully external even though it is covered due to driving rain and humidity. The timber species selected is larch as is hardy and good for external uses. The columns and beams are solid timber, there is no embedded steelwork except in the connections, which equates to 150m3 of timber used on the project weighing 75 tonnes.

The canopy structure has been designed to be independent of the two plots. The roof structure is primarily supported on single line of offset timber columns between Plots 01 and 02. The columns are constructed from 820mm x 720 glulam sections which cantilever from their base. The line of timber columns acts as propped cantilevers and proved stability to the canopy.

The roof comprises a continuous glulam beam, which cantilevers out on both sides of the columns. There are additional glulam beams spanning perpendicular to these which tie the columns together and pick up the inclined secondary steel RHS beams supporting the roof covering – a glazed canopy. Mild galvanised steel cruciform columns in two rows parallel and adjacent to Plots 1 and 2 prop the timber canopy to reduce deflections and maintain structural integrity.

Cycle parking for 68 cycles is provided within the new entrance, with two lifts and escalators up to the new overbridge that provides an important pedestrian route across the Midland Main Line. The eastern entrance also supports the ambition at Brent Cross West to provide step-free access from street level to the platforms for anyone with mobility issues, as well as platform humps that level the boarding points to the trains on the platforms. Provisions are sized to allow for passenger flow to be easy and uninterrupted.

The station work placed a premium on localism and inclusivity, with 20 per cent of the people who worked on the build being residents of Barnet, Brent and Camden boroughs.

In bringing together the wider vision for Brent Cross Town, Argent Related and Barnet Council have established plans for 6,700 homes, workspace for 25,000 employees, shops, restaurants, leisure, culture and events space as well as 14,000m2 of indoor sports facilities and 20ha of parks. There will also be student accommodation and the redevelopment of three local schools.

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Our commitment to green-thinking design is demonstrated through a marked reduction in embodied carbon, whilst the glass canopy and timber glulam roof structure covers a verdant arrival space, with vines connected to ground floor planers by a wire trellis system. These elements help to capture the spirit of a place focused on well-being and a connection to nature, and create a compelling arrival to the new Brent Cross West Station.

The specification of the concrete including a minimum of 50% GGBS as a replacement for virgin cement. This allowed us to create a more durable and sustainable product with GGBS manufacture typically releases 35 kg of CO2/t of GGBS: less than 4% of the carbon footprint of normal cement. Due to the large office developments either side we were concerned that the entrance may become overshadowed, and by using the proposed concrete, we were able to create a lighter finish that provides 20% more reflectivity than standard concrete.

The ambition of the station arrival is to move away from the traditional entrance defined by doors and gate lines towards a looser arrival sequence, one defined by nature and scale. Without a formal threshold this is a gentle sequence of arrival that links to Brent Cross Town’s wider themes promoting access to nature and wellbeing.”
Lucas Lawrence
Company Director, Studio Egret West


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