Gort Scott Architects, in collaboration with Allies and Morrison and We Made That, have been appointed to develop designs for Harrow Council's new Civic Centre in Wealdstone. The competition-winning submission will provide improved access to council and community services, alongside new council offices with increased efficiency, retail opportunities to support the high street and new homes.
"We are thrilled to be working closely with such a visionary client on this hugely significant and exciting public project for both Harrow and London," said Jay Gort, Director at Gort Scott. "We are part of a fantastic design team including Allies and Morrison and We Made That. For us at Gort Scott, it is especially wonderful as it builds upon nearly a decade of work into high street regeneration across London."
The development proposes an ensemble of robust, elegant buildings with distinct characters. The buildings will become a 'public living room' for Wealdstone - a shared amenity for local and wider Harrow residents and council workers.
Maximising spatial efficiency, the new council office buildings will support open-plan, flexible working, with increased daylighting and integrated sustainability measures. A series of interconnected public spaces will provide a café, facilities for wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, and publically accessible meeting and event spaces. The relocation of Council staff to Wealdstone town centre will stimulate new trade and opportunities for high street regeneration.
The design team has begun to engage with local residents and other stakeholders as part of a comprehensive consultation programme, led by engagement strategist Daisy Froud. Opportunities for temporary meanwhile uses will be explored to benefit the local area prior to and during construction. In addition, desgin practice Studio Tilt are assisting the council with refining the brief for the Civic Centre.
"A New Civic Centre is a once in a lifetime project and will bring great regeneration benefits to our communities," stated Head of Regeneration and Design at Harrow Council, Tobias Goevert. "We were lucky to have such strong submissions from all shortlisted practices. Gort Scott and their team stood out for a fresh and simple approach. We take good design seriously, and for this reason we will also be setting up a Design Review Panel in the near future to ensure that quality remains at the forefront of all our schemes."