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Related Argent and Barnet Council unveil frieze by Giles Round at new Brent Cross West mainline rail station

Local artist’s large-scale frieze is the fifth artwork commissioned by Related Argent and Barnet Council for Brent Cross Town as part of continued commitment to art and culture. The unveiling precedes a photocall and film to mark Barnet Council’s Bid to become London Borough of Culture 2027.

Related Argent and Barnet Council, delivering Brent Cross Town, one of Europe’s largest net-zero urban regeneration projects, today unveils a new architectural frieze by celebrated Barnet-raised artist Giles Round. It is located at the soon-to-open Brent Cross West, London’s newest mainline station.

The large-scale work, covering 250 sq metres in three parts, will provide a striking welcome at the station’s impressive eastern entrance, ‘The Arbour’, and connects to Copper Square which is the centre of the new business and innovation district in Brent Cross Town.

The new station is set to open on Sunday 10 December 2023 with Thameslink trains connecting to central London in as little as 12 minutes. It provides the gateway to new neighbourhood Brent Cross Town via a new overbridge that will give access across this part of the Midland Main Line for the first time since it was built more than 150 years ago, linking communities on both sides of the station, and making it much easier to get around the area.

The new Giles Round piece, entitled Time passes & still I think of you, is dedicated to the artist’s late mother Margaret Round, who for a time worked in Brent Cross shopping centre. Combining personal memories with ideas about how place is essential to our sense of identity and how the buildings around connect us with the landscapes of our lives, the artwork is a tender monument to love, loss and hope.

It is composed of brightly coloured modular blocks that are repeated, recoloured and rotated. It runs along the full length of the south side and upper levels of The Arbour, Brent Cross West’s eastern entrance building and is 48-metres at its longest point. The colours and shapes in the frieze are inspired by the forms we build around us in cities, simplified decorative elements common to buildings across the globe. The work brings the outside in, reproducing a cityscape inside this new building.

The work is constructed using vitreous enamel panels, which are common to transport environments around the UK. The work was made in the Isle of Wight by A.J Wells & Sons Ltd, the largest vitreous enamel supplier in the UK and the principal supplier of enamel signage and cladding for London Underground.

This artwork comes as Barnet launches its bid for Borough of Culture 2027, after working with residents, students, artists, community groups, businesses and anyone with a current or past interest and connection with Barnet – to share their ideas and help celebrate the borough’s cultural identity.

Councillor Ammar Naqvi, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, Arts and Sports at Barnet Council, said: “High profile artworks like the latest frieze by Giles Round at Brent Cross West help to showcase how we are building Barnet as a cultural destination. Our commitment to bid to become London’s Borough of Culture is about identifying and amplifying the amazing cultural offerings we already have here in Barnet, and about attracting artists, musicians and other cultural contributors to come here.”

Morwenna Hall, Partner at Related Argent, commented: “This is an exciting day to unveil a major piece of public art which is part of the new Brent Cross West station. We are delivering arts and culture from the very beginning of the development for the local community to enjoy. The new station is an important part of Brent Cross Town which enhances sustainable connectivity for local residents and anchors the new business and innovation district.”

Giles Round, who grew up in Barnet and now lives in St Leonards-on-Sea, works across disciplines, and frequently in the realm of public art, through a wide range of techniques and approaches. His previous work with London transportation included Art on the Underground at Blackhorse Road, Vauxhall and Victoria stations.

Giles Round, the artist, said: “The work is a monument to love. It is for everyone, in particular, all we have lost.”

Phoebe Greenwood, the curator, said: Giles Round is one of the UK’s most important artists with significant permanent public artworks across the country. Art, Round believes, has a critical place alongside architecture and design in creating organisations and environments to help us live well. The artist's commitment to the civic and their unique relationship to the location has brought something profoundly personal into this new public space. This is a vibrant artwork. Bright colour, bold geometry, scale, beauty, pleasure - these are important elements the artist enjoys working with.”

An event to showcase the unveiling of the Giles Round piece will also see Barnet Council officially mark the submission of its bid to become London Borough of Culture 2027. Contributors to a short film made to accompany the bid will come together at Brent Cross West station for a photocall in front of the Giles Round frieze, and this will be followed by the first public showing of the short film at the Brent Cross Town Visitor Pavilion.

The launch of the new public artwork adds to the growing momentum behind Brent Cross Town with six buildings currently under construction featuring close to 1,000 new homes including affordable, market sale and rental homes as well as over 600 student homes. Sheffield Hallam University will also open its first campus outside of Sheffield at Brent Cross Town. The town already hosts a number of local retail and leisure offerings. On completion it will include 6,700 new homes, 3 million sq ft of offices, a new high street, leisure spaces and 50 acres of parks and playing fields.

Other art works at Brent Cross Town delivered by Related Argent and Barnet Council include a ‘wrap’ around the new electrical substation for the area by London-based artist Lakwena and architects IF_DO, a community mural by Annu Kilpeläinen, Rainbow of Ribbons by Hanna Benihoud and Yesterday, Tomorrow by Steven Wilson.

Brent Cross West is funded by central government and led by Barnet Council. It is one of the first rail projects in England to be delivered entirely by a local authority. It is located at Brent Cross, London, NW2 6LW.

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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 early 2020. The new Brent Cross West station will also open on 10 December 2023. 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 sport, play, health and well-being. 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:

  • To create the place in London to participate in sport and play: with indoor facilities and 50 acres of parks, Brent Cross Town will provide the best of both traditional and emerging sports, working with leading sports organisations, governing bodies and hero ambassadors to help drive female participation and champion diversity and inclusion.
  • To make a new North London town where all can flourish. Brent Cross Town will launch a Flourishing Index which will pioneer the measurement of how individuals and communities flourish in a town centre. Partnering with Manchester University and Buro Happold, this approach represents a landmark moment in designing a development for mental health and wellbeing and demonstrates that Brent Cross Town is at the forefront of people-centred design.
  • To be a net zero carbon town by 2030. This will be achieved by driving down the embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure, the carbon used in energy supply and offsetting the remainder. Partnering with Vattenfall, Brent Cross Town will deliver reliable and affordable zero carbon heating to homes, shops and businesses.
  • To strengthen existing connections, both locally and into Central London; connecting businesses, customers, friends and family. Brent Cross Town is in an enviable location – 12 minutes to Central London, immediate access to the M1 and 5 major airports within one hour. Locally, new pedestrian and cycle routes will integrate Brent Cross Town with its surrounding communities.

About Related Argent:
In 2015, Argent and Related joined forces to create an unrivalled UK property business and urban regeneration specialist. The company brings together the expertise and track record of Argent – the developer behind some of Britain’s most successful mixed-use places, and Related – one of the most innovative and prolific real estate companies in the US. The combined experience delivering ground-breaking projects such as King’s Cross in London, Hudson Yards and Deutsche Bank Center in New York, Brindleyplace in Birmingham, The Square in West Palm Beach, Florida and The Grand LA in Los Angeles is brought to bear on each of the projects.

Related Argent operates across a range of property sectors including residential, workspace, education, shopping, hospitality and leisure. Its work goes beyond bricks and mortar development. It also specialises in the services, facilities and experiences that are so important to urban life – art, culture, events, schools, skills & training programmes and renewable energy networks.

Related Argent is one of the UK’s leading developer-owner-operators and, since its inception eight years ago, has rapidly grown a £9Bn+, 12m sq ft mixed-use development pipeline. This includes major regeneration projects in London, at Brent Cross Town and Tottenham Hale, as well as a Build-to-Rent (BtR) scheme at King’s Cross, known as ‘Author King’s Cross’. It’s accessing global capital markets to deliver major new projects across the UK and is seeking to expand its BtR housing portfolio. On 1 May 2024, Argent will transfer all employees, projects and assets to Related Argent Limited.

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 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. www.argentllp.co.uk

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Elizabeth:
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Elizabeth:
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