Related Argent and Barnet Council, who are jointly delivering Brent Cross Town, the new 180-acre net zero carbon park town for London, have opened Claremont Park, the town’s first new permanent park.
Opening in the early stages of Brent Cross Town’s development, Claremont Park is the first of seven parks that will be delivered in the neighbourhood and will become a key part of Brent Cross Town’s 50 acres of park and playing fields. It will become an important neighbourhood space for the local community to relax and spend time in.
The opening of the Claremont Park follows the recent launch of the first residential buildings at Brent Cross Town which will overlook the expansive green space. It also coincides with the opening of the new shops on Claremont Way, including Karma Bread Bakehouse and Happy Face Pizza, which complement Spruce and Larch café, which is located in the Visitor Pavilion.
Designed by Townshend Landscape Architects and HTA Design, Claremont Park encompasses the existing Claremont Way Open Space, that was in need of rejuvenation, to create an expanded 4.5-acre park. Its design has been guided by a set of principles which include: encouraging social spaces; improving connectivity; being accessible and inclusive; and creating real opportunities for play, leisure, exercise and sport. By transforming the existing space, these principles have been brought to life in the creation of a beautiful local park, with variety of spaces and facilities for relaxation, play and socialising that will attract a wider range of people to the park, enabling it to become a core part of the emerging neighbourhood.
Key features of the new Claremont Park include:
Drawing on the existing wooded space, nature is at the forefront of Claremont Park’s design and it has a woodland character throughout. More than 300 new trees have been planted, predominantly a mix of UK native species, from birch and beech to alder and willows. Wildflower meadows feature across the park and there is a strong theme of water, at the centre is a large pond and swales running along the northern edge. Both ensure that Claremont Park will play an important role in improving the local area’s biodiversity.
Play is a key feature of the park, with an exciting play space at its centre including climbing structures, swings, roundabouts and slides. Created by Erect Architecture, the playground aims to encourage creativity and inclusivity through play. It includes a range of play opportunities: not only physical but also sensory, natural and collaborative to support a variety of different types of participation and fun. Natural materials have been used throughout, such as the reclaimed timbers from Woolwich Pier that are central to the children’s climbing structures. Water play is also provided with pumps and sand pits. Sporting activities are encouraged by a basketball hoop and mini-scooter and skate area.
Claremont Park has been designed to create accessible outdoor social spaces that encourage and facilitate opportunities for people to interact and to be active. It incorporates equipment for exercise, play and leisure; a natural amphitheatre and stage; benches and picnic tables; a woodland walk; and a pond designed with a decked platform. Walking and cycle routes through and around the park improve access and connections to the local area.
Food & Beverage
The Claremont Park Kiosk is a new food and beverage space in the centre of the park, providing an important local amenity and ensuring the park becomes a dynamic and active community space for the existing and growing communities around the park. Brent Cross Town worked with North London-based artist Hanna Benihoud to develop artwork for the kiosk’s privacy screen. The Ribbon Rainscreen, which will be installed soon, was created in partnership with the local community and is a celebration of play and sport and reflects the natural, free-flowing approach of the play area.
Following a competition to find a local business to operate the new kiosk, Brent Cross Town selected Gussy’s Ice Cream Parlour. Run by local resident, Gus Bodur, Gussy’s Ice Cream Parlour will serve hot drinks, fruit, pastries and sandwiches. To keep the carbon footprint as low as possible, it will offer a solely vegetarian menu. Gus and his family live locally on Clitterhouse Road and are well known for their ice cream in the Northwest London community.
Morwenna Hall, partner at Related Argent, said: “Our focus at Brent Cross Town is to deliver parks, public spaces and amenities first. It was important to us that we opened Claremont Park at the earliest possible opportunity and give the local community an important new and permanent park to enjoy. By extending and transforming the existing Claremont Way Open Space we have created a new neighbourhood park that has something for everyone and, importantly, helps to support the increase in the biodiversity of the area.”
Councillor Barry Rawlings, leader of Barnet Council, said: “Claremont Park is a fantastic new neighbourhood park for the enjoyment of local people. I am pleased that community facilities like this are opening first in the new development to ensure that existing residents benefit from the transformation of the area, whether that’s through new parks and open spaces, new shops or employment opportunities. I look forward to seeing children and adults enjoy everything the new park has to offer.”
Oliver Barden, associate from Townshend Landscape Architecture, commented: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to work on a place that we hope will mean a lot to the communities around Brent Cross Town. The park has been designed as a true neighbourhood green space. It is a place for people to relax and to socialise together, a place to be active, to play and to engage with the natural environment. The park’s delivery at this early stage of the wider development is a real testament to the neighbourhood intention. This is a space for the wider community, as much as the new residents and occupiers of Brent Cross Town. We are thrilled that it will become part of many peoples’ everyday journeys and lives within the local area, and we can’t wait to see it getting used and enjoyed."
Susanne Tutsch, director, Erect Architecture, added: “We are so looking forward to seeing kids and their families having fun in our playground! Nestling between lush planting, the features are inspired by the existing trees and local histories. A dam and spillways ripple down a colourful slope with the most beautiful natural boulders (can you find the heart?), inviting scrambling and splashing. Large flotsam towers sit in the imaginary reservoir tempting the intrepid to daring climbs and games of chase. A gnarly climber and the leaf net allow exploring trees and shadow play of leaves and branches close and higher up. Parents can relax surrounded by greenery or join in and play again.”
Claremont Park Project Consultants:
Townshend Landscape Architects – Concept landscape architect
HTA Design LLP – Delivery landscape architect and lead planting designers
Estudiomix – Planting design consultant
Erect Architecture – Main play area lead designer
FCH architects – Delivery architect for the kiosk
Arup – Civil and MEP engineers
Duncan & Grove – Main play area contractor
Canvas Spaces – Pocket sport zone designer/contractor
Galldris Services – Principal contractor
Willerby – Soft landscape contractor
Haydens – Arborist
Tim O’Hare Associates – Soil consultant
DP9 – Planning consultant
Michael Grubb Studio – Lighting design
Hanna Benihoud – Artist
Gardiner and Theobald – Employee agent and cost consultant
About Brent Cross Town:
Brent Cross Town is the neighbourhood at the heart of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration programme. It is a joint venture between Related Argent and Barnet Council to develop a large-scale mixed-use development including new homes, retail and office space, as well as improved schools and greenspaces in the area. Early work started on site in 2020 and construction is also underway on the new Brent Cross West station which will be completed by the end of 2022. Building on the strengths of this diverse part of the city, Brent Cross Town will draw inspiration from the best of London’s long-established neighbourhoods with all their complexity and character.
At its heart, will be a focus on health and well-being, including sport and play. The new neighbourhood will provide 6,700 homes, state-of-the-art workspace for over 25,000 people, and pedestrian friendly streets and squares with local shops and restaurants that will complement the offer at Brent Cross Shopping Centre. The community will be supported by first-class public transport infrastructure, a new and improved network of walking and cycle routes and a series of new parks and other amenities. www.brentcrosstown.co.uk @brentcrosstown
Related Argent is making four significant pledges for Brent Cross Town:
About Related Argent:
Related Argent brings together an extraordinary blend of complementary skills, access to global capital and unrivalled technical and delivery experience. The company delivers inclusive growth for all stakeholders by developing, owning and operating for the long-term. Argent, the respected developer with a track record in creating exemplar new pieces of UK cities including King’s Cross, joined forces in March 2015 with Related, the most prominent privately-owned real estate firm in the United States with over $60 billion in assets owned or under development including Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s West Side, as well as LA Grand and Related Santa Clara in California.
The company has a £8bn UK development pipeline in London which includes the delivery of two major regeneration schemes featuring over 7,900 homes, over 3 million sq ft of office space, 50 acres of parks and playfields, as well as retail, leisure, student accommodation and schools, both highly accessible from new and improved public transport connections. It is currently working in a joint venture with Barnet Council on London’s 180-acre Brent Cross Town development, with the London Borough of Haringey for the Tottenham Hale redevelopment and its build-to-rent development in King’s Cross is currently under construction.
Related Argent’s vision is to be a great city builder—for people, planet, and prosperity and its purpose is to improve urban life for all, everyday. This means developing with for the long-term—astutely, sustainably and with a sense of social purpose. Related Argent is delivering the places, homes, workspace, public space, arts, culture, events and services that our UK cities and town centres need.
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