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sheffield hallam university to occupy shedkm’s first building at brent cross town

The first office building at Brent Cross Town, designed by shedkm for Related Argent, is set to be occupied by Sheffield Hallam University.

Designed for well-being and maximum connectivity, the flexible, low-carbon building will be home to the University’s first satellite campus outside of Sheffield. They will occupy circa 110,000 ft2 across the lower six floors of the first commercial building at Brent Cross Town, which recently obtained full planning approval. The University is scheduled to open from 2025/26, with the aim of reaching a target of up to 5,000 students by 2030.

Brent Cross Town is a 180-acre, £8Bn new park town in London, led by developers Related Argent. shedkm are behind the designs for both this new building and the new station entrance, which is being led on site by Studio Egret West.

shedkm’s approach emphasises design for well-being. Office spaces have been designed with generous floor to ceiling heights, large windows, an expansive double height reception entrance, flexible open floor-plates and a timber floor structure, which contributes to a dynamic, welcoming and an inspiring environment. Substantial provision of multi-level external spaces includes landscaped terraces at multiple levels, private outdoor amenity at levels 12 and 13, and a communal terrace at the top of the building with views out to landscaped parks and beyond to Hampstead Heath. A monopitch roof makes a dramatic contribution to the roof-scape and celebrates the gateway to the site.

The building is focused on lowering embodied carbon through a hybrid structure comprising a precast concrete frame and cross laminated timber (CLT) slabs. Office floors feature on-floor fresh air and chilled panels to the underside of the slabs allow the CLT to be exposed internally contributing to the visual aesthetic. Brent Cross Town has pledged to deliver a net zero carbon town by 2030, creating healthy working environments and supporting the sustainability agendas of its occupiers.
Generous floor to ceiling heights, coupled with large windows and the warmth of timber contribute to a dynamic, welcoming and an inspiring workplace environment.

The new eastern station entrance, also designed by shedkm in collaboration with Studio Egret West, will create an impressive welcome to this emerging neighbourhood and open up access to the lower levels of the two adjacent commercial plots. Designed with a focus on function whilst celebrating arrival, a 13m high timber structure frames a landscaped ‘green’ entrance space, emphasising well-being and a connection with nature. A central glulam spine supports a simple glass canopy, punctured by apertures which let in natural daylight to support the growth of plants beneath.

Working closely with Related Argent, occupiers Sheffield Hallam University will help to shape the town centre as a new knowledge and innovation hub that will encourage a values-based business ecosystem for organisations seeking proximity to fellow innovators, world-class wellbeing spaces and amenities and the chance to become part of a diverse, creative community.

The University is a catalyst for a new pioneering knowledge and business hub in London, and their commitment adds to the momentum generated by the recent international investment into the first phase of new homes.

Alex Flint, Director at shedkm, said: “This new commercial space at Brent Cross Town will be shedkm’s most innovative and sustainable commercial building to date, and we are delighted to be working alongside such a forward-thinking client who has such high aspirations for our future workspaces. We’ve always wanted to stay a step ahead in both humanising traditionally ‘commercial’ space and developing an environmental and wellbeing consciousness.”

Nick Searl, Partner at Related Argent, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Sheffield Hallam University to Brent Cross Town. With its excellent connectivity, commitment to wellness and net zero carbon, plus its 15-minute town centre concept, it makes an ideal location for them to grow their community.

“The University’s commitment is a milestone in the broader evolution of the development, which is gaining significant momentum and attracting an ever-widening group of partners who believe in what we are doing and want to be part of that journey.”

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, said: “It is clear that our values and commitment to transforming lives are shared by the vision and partners behind the Brent Cross Town development.

“This exciting development provides Sheffield Hallam with an outstanding opportunity. It builds on our strengths, will allow us to develop wider relationships, and expand our profile as focused on applying knowledge. It will offer extensive benefits for our existing university community.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the Brent Cross Town partners and the local community to create a new knowledge hub, which will be an asset that showcases our award-winning applied approach to teaching, learning and research at the heart of Brent Cross Town.”