Brent Civic Centre

The Brent Civic Centre is a multi-purpose community centre, opposite Wembley Arena and Wembley Stadium in London, which houses theatres, concert halls and festival halls for e.g. weddings.

The impressive foyer and atrium has been designed as a flexible space where the large public staircase provides seating for "Wembley Live" events. There is also a modern library and learning centre.

This new building enabled the city administration to combine its vision of a municipal administration with social, public and administrative functions in one location.

The building sections are arranged around an elevated foyer and atrium, which is flooded with daylight and houses a large public amphitheatre and an outdoor staircase. The programmes of high-quality art and cultural experiences listed here further enhance the value of the building. A rotunda clad with wood pilaster strips, called "The Drum", stands conspicuously in the centre of the building and houses a multipurpose community hall, a library, a citizens' office and a council chamber.

This design concept involved the use of many different façade systems, resulting in numerous and complex interfaces during the planning and installation phase of this project. Design requirements called for the use of prefabricated, large format façade elements and a post and rail system installed on site.

The challenge of 16 different facade types in different materials was implemented in a unique way.

  •     Element facades on the office floors
  •     Suspended, point-fixed glass facades in the area of the entrance atrium
  •     SG facades in front of the staircases
  •     Steel P/R systems with integrated glass sun protection lamellas on the main façade
  •     Elemented double skin facades with sound-absorbing wooden parapets
  •     Thermal insulation panels with window bands and wooden pilasters in the area "The Drum

This complex construction of the façade presented the on-site installation team with numerous challenges.  

The building was awarded the coveted BREEAM rating, the evaluation system for ecological and socio-cultural aspects of building sustainability, with "Excellent". The Brent Civic Centre is the first project in its category in the country to achieve this high standard. CO2 emissions were reduced by 33% through the use of solar shading, natural ventilation, high performance facades and a combination of cooling, heating and power supply systems. It is the most sustainable municipal building completed in the UK at the time.

Natural ventilation is provided by top-hung and bottom-hung windows with concealed chain drives, which are connected to the higher-level BMS and can be positioned with millimetre accuracy. The technology supplied by Gretsch-Unitas for the building openings was developed especially for this project in close coordination with the fabricator and subjected to a long-term functional test in the in-house test centre at GU for its suitability for use.

For condition monitoring, additionally concealed feedback contacts were used. With these contacts, the closed and locked position of the window elements can be clearly queried and offers the building management system an additional benefit.

GU solution: Projecting Top-Hung windows in aluminium post-and-mullion system