Claremont Park has been shortlisted for a Landscape Institute Award
Claremont Park has been shortlisted for a Landscape Institute Award in the Excellence in Place Regeneration category! The park sets the standard for a thriving, inclusive, net zero carbon public realm at Brent Cross Town, one of Europe’s largest regeneration projects. The 4.5-acre park is at the heart of this £8 billion, 180-acre development which will transform an overlooked area which has suffered from a historic lack of provision. Over a 15-year period, this new neighbourhood, which is being delivered by Argent Related and Barnet Council, will create 7000 new homes, a knowledge and innovation hub, new retail, 3m square ft of workspace, new schools and a university set in 50-acres of parks and playing fields. New routes through the park serve as a green link between Brent Cross underground station to the east and Brent Cross West, a new mainline station for the capital. The park elevates the former Claremont Way Open Space which lacked amenity and was often subject to anti-social behaviour. This all-grass space of low ecological value has been replaced with climate resilient nectar-rich planting to boost sitewide biodiversity.
Planned by Townshend Landscape Architects and delivered by HTA Design’s Landscape team, the park introduces an impressive range of spaces for play and exercise nestled between lush native planting. A landscape first approach meant the park could open to the public in June 2022, two years before completion of the first buildings which will begin to welcome residents in late 2024. This approach has enabled early uptake by the local community, activating the nascent public realm, and creating a positive outlook on the ability of the development to increase local facilities and social infrastructure. The park is designed for year-round use by people of all ages. New fully accessible nature trails, water features and imaginative play facilities instil a sense of ownership and pride and a new community run kiosk serves as a focal point for people to meet.
The variety of spaces at Claremont Park support year-round events programming encouraging people to make repeat returns. To date, the park has hosted a week-long opening ceremony with live music and sports taster sessions and a young people’s summer programme which made full use the newly provided basketball and skateboarding areas. To ensure the park welcomes and supports local women the #TimeTogether campaign, delivered in partnership with Women in Sport, encourages mums and teenage daughters to access free exercise classes.
Water Meadows Playground, designed by play specialists Erect Architecture sits at the centre of the park. Here, dynamic climbing structures are provided and waterplay is inspired by the local river Brent. A celebrated success, the playground is a key attraction for the park with the headteacher of nearby Childs Hill and Claremont primary schools reporting his pupils feel that ‘a theme park has been opened up for them!’
As the first of seven new permanent parks for Brent Cross Town the design and build quality reflected the client’s ambition to support health and wellbeing by becoming London’s new destination for sport and play the project is continuing to inform delivery of the wider public realm.