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Brent Cross Town Electricity Substation, London, UK

Brent Cross Town electricity substation is one of the largest pieces of public art in the UK and is part of the brand new £5 billion development based in the heart of the London Borough of Barnet.

Brent Cross Town is one of the latest net zero urban regeneration projects in Europe being delivered in partnership between Related Argent and Barnet Council, with the intention of developing a prosperous neighbourhood and town centre.

This significant new artwork has been created by celebrated London-based artist Lakwena and architects IF_DO. A skilled and experienced project team were engaged to bring the project to life, which features 21-metre-high painted steel girders that surround the old electricity substation.

Leading designers, engineering and sustainability experts Arup acted as the lead on the lighting design for the Substation project, creating the initial lighting design. Michael Grubb Studio was appointed by one of UK’s leading developer-owner-operators Related Argent as Executive Lighting Consultants to deliver and finalise the details of the scheme designed by Arup to align with the overall lighting Masterplan for Brent Cross Town.

Related Argent appointed Michael Grubb Studio to create a sitewide Lighting Masterplan for the Brent Cross Town project, subsequently commissioning the Studio to work on six public realm projects within the area. These included Railway Street, High Street, Claremont Way, Claremont Park, and Neighbourhood Square, which are all prominent areas within the scheme.

Lighting plays a key part in the design of the art piece, and Michael Grubb Studio has delivered a lighting scheme that is designed to be discreet and attract attention to the artwork during the day and at night. The lighting design creates a lighting halo around the façade’s wrap which filters down through the structure, allowing the light to fade away at lower level.

Melissa Byers, Head of Michael Grubb Studio Bournemouth, said: The lighting design compliments and draws focus to the artwork itself, creating a new and dynamic experience to extend the public’s enjoyment of the artwork beyond daytime, injecting further life and depth after dark. Lighting was also key to creating a stunning, eye-catching display that would attract attention from the passing motorway traffic and adjacent railway line, as well as inspire those who live close by.”


Project Credits:
Project Manager – TPS Project Management LLP
Cost Consultant & Employers Agent – Gardiner & Theobald
Civil, Structural, MEP, VT, Acoustic, Fire Engineer, Sustainability, Utilities and Infrastructure Engineer, and Lighting Designer – Arup
Architect – IF_DO
Landscape Architect – Gillespies
Executive Lighting Consultants – Michael Grubb Studio
Lighting Controls Designer – Control Lighting
Client Planning Consultant – Carney Sweeney
Off-Site Re-Inforcement, PSS Fit-Out and Power Supplier – Power On Connections
Client BIM Advisor – PCSG
Client CDM Advisor – BCAL
Infrastructure Contractor – Galldris
Wrap Contractor – Bourne Group


John Sturrock