Music and Sound Strategy, Brent Cross Town, North London Masterplaan, Architecture Images

Music and Sound Strategy in Brent Cross

1 Feb 2021

Brent Cross Town Sound Strategy

Design: Argent Related

Location: Brent Cross, North London, England

Brent Cross Town to become first UK town to get music and sound strategy

Brent Cross Town Sound Strategy

Brent Cross Town, the £5 billion, 180-acre regeneration being delivered in joint venture by Argent Related and Barnet Council, will be the first major development in the UK where a sophisticated approach to music and sound is influencing both its design and operations.

The bespoke sound framework, developed in collaboration with Dr Julia Jones – AKA ‘Dr Rock’– of JLP Consultancy, is an important part of Brent Cross Town’s overall pledge to be a place where people can flourish. The strategy sets out a framework for the design, infrastructure and ongoing operational requirements in both public spaces and buildings, required for sound and music to benefit workers, residents and visitors – ensuring a positive sound environment for all.

Often considered by developers only in terms of mitigating ‘bad’ noise, sound is in fact a critical part of promoting human wellness, and its place in a new neighbourhood like Brent Cross Town will have many positive impacts. In November 2019, the World Health Organisation officially recognised the health value of music, following a review of over 2,000 research studies: music reduces stress, increases serotonin and dopamine to improve mood and helps the brain learn.

Brent Cross Town will have sound built into its very fabric. Key locations will be mapped out for positive sound creation opportunities, while others will use sound to mitigate existing negative noise. Quality audio and associated digital and sustainable power networks will be built-in to public spaces and spaces will be created specifically for performance and collaborative sound production activities. Natural sounds such as birdsong, subtle insect noise and the sound of water will also be protected and amplified by specific planting and landscaping areas.

Brent Cross Town Sound Strategy

Supporting Brent Cross Town’s goal of enabling high performance at work, office buildings will take a unique approach to sound: natural materials will reduce disruptive acoustics; stairwells will be programmed with pleasant soundscapes to ‘nudge’ employees to use them; and designated areas will be designed to accommodate both quiet meditation and music. Argent Related will also work closely with office occupiers to develop bespoke sound and music programmes aimed at enhancing wellbeing and productivity within their workplaces.

Residents will have homes designed for sound, music and good acoustics. Some spaces will include technology to access live-streamed activities such as music lessons, guided meditation or yoga.

The public spaces will be programmed with activities to bring residents together socially and provide them with formal and informal learning and performance opportunities, contributing to a sense of belonging and purpose. Sound and music will also be part of the activities and events programme that will bring the community together and contribute to their health and wellbeing.

Nick Searl, Partner of Argent Related and Joint-Lead of Brent Cross Town, says: “Brent Cross Town’s sound and music strategy is an exciting concept and one that we are really proud to debut in the UK. In setting out our vision for Brent Cross Town, we have been very clear in our mission to create a flourishing new town centre for London that values the wellness of both communities and individuals. We are fortunate that Brent Cross Town is already home to 50 acres of parks and public spaces. Our ambition is to enhance the benefits of being in these spaces by consciously layering in sound and music and enhancing our sensory experiences.”

Councillor Daniel Thomas, Leader of Barnet Council, commented: “Argent Related continue to bring innovative ideas and initiatives that will make Brent Cross Town like no other area in London or the UK. The music and sound strategy is one of the unique ways Brent Cross Town will deliver on its vision to make Barnet’s new park town a place where everyone can flourish.”

Dr Julia Jones, Partner, JLP Consultancy, added: “In terms of how we experience our environments, sound is a vital sensory source. Its full potential is often overlooked. We know that music has been at the heart of human life for tens of thousands of years. It triggers a multitude of identified responses in the brain that can enhance wellness and is a valuable health tool when used appropriately. Brent Cross Town will ensure that sound and music (including the sound of silence) is embraced with consideration to enhance the lives and wellbeing of everyone. I hope this innovative approach that is being promoted so positively by Argent Related becomes standard practice in future developments.”

Argent Related 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 at the latest. 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 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 Argent Related 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 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 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. @brentcrosstown

About Argent Related
Argent Related brings together an extraordinary blend of complementary skills, access to global capital and unrivalled technical and delivery experience. Argent Related generates superior returns for all stakeholders by developing 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 responsible for Hudson Yards. The company has a £5 Bn+ 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 playing fields, 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 South site, with the London Borough of Haringey for the Tottenham Hale redevelopment and is progressing other opportunities in London including a build-to-rent development in King’s Cross.

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Location: Brent Cross, London, England, UK

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