Architect:Arup, IF_DO and artist Lakwena

Image:John Sturrock

Sustainable Artistry

Brent Cross Town Substation, London

The Brent Cross Town Substation is a beacon of sustainable development, where environmental, social, and economic factors are equally prioritized. As part of one of the largest urban regeneration projects in Europe, this substation plays a critical role in achieving Brent Cross Town’s net zero carbon ambition by 2030.

It will provide clean energy to 6,700 new homes, offices, retail, and leisure spaces. More than just functional infrastructure, the substation is a piece of public art. The colourful wrap around the substation, titled “Here we come, Here we rise,” turns it into a vibrant landmark reflecting the spirit of the local community. Positioned prominently next to London’s North Circular Road and the M1 motorway and adjacent to Thameslink railway lines and the new Brent Cross West station, the substation will be seen by up to six million people each year from road and rail alone.

The project follows circular economy principles, choosing materials based on their carbon impact and reducing waste through material reuse. The wrap structure incorporates about 40% reused steel and low-carbon concrete. Natural ventilation is embraced, and the steelwork is hot dipped galvanized to ensure durability in openair conditions.

Beyond its functional aspects, the project revitalizes brownfield land, introducing a biodiverse embankment, newly planted trees, and a wildflower meadow. This creates a natural setting for the artwork, enhances biodiversity, and connects with the broader green infrastructure in the area.

The substation represents sustainability by balancing social, economic, and environmental benefits. It serves as a piece of public art, supports Brent Cross’s regeneration, and contributes to net-zero carbon targets through the use of lowcarbon materials and resource reuse. Its success showcases innovative approaches to sustainable development.

Content provided by Arup and IF_DO

Photos © John Sturrock

Architect:Arup, IF_DO and artist Lakwena

Image:John Sturrock

Posted onMarch 20, 2024 byGalvanizers Association

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