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Gort Scott wins Harrow civic centre contest

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Gort Scott has won a competition to create a new civic centre in Wealdstone, west London

The studio, working with Allies and Morrison and We Made That, was selected from a shortlist which included Metropolitan Workshop, Henley Halebrown Rorrison and Karakusevic Carson Architects to design the Harrow Council-backed scheme.

The appointment comes nine months after Gort Scott was picked ahead of DRDH, 6A Architects, Tim Ronalds Architects and Hall McKnight in a competition for a new riverside block at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Planned to complete in 2020, the latest project will create a new headquarters for the local authority on the site of a former multistorey car park in Wealdstone town centre.

Once completed, the new facility will replace Harrow Council’s existing civic centre about half a kilometre to the south, which is expected to be replaced with new housing.

Designed by architect Eric Broughton and completed in 1972, the existing civic centre complex features several large council buildings alongside a library, car parks and landscaping.

Gort Scott’s competition-winning scheme will create new flexible open-plan offices for the council together with a café, retail spaces, housing and a wedding venue on the 10,000m² site of the existing Peel House car park.

Commenting on the win, Gort Scott director Jay Gort said: ‘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. 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 in high street regeneration across London.’

Holly Lewis, co-founder of We Made That, added: ‘We’re delighted to be working on this project. The new civic centre and the public spaces around it represent a bold step towards forming new community spaces and areas for the local population to live and work.’

Tobias Goevert, head of regeneration and design at Harrow Council, said: ‘A new civic centre is a once-in-a-lifetime project and will bring great regeneration benefits to our communities. We were lucky to have such strong submissions from all the shortlisted practices.

‘Gort Scott and their team stood out for their 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.’

The full shortlist

  • Gort Scott Architects (lead), Allies & Morrison Architects, We Made That (WINNER)
  • Metropolitan Workshop (lead), Haworth Tompkins Architects, Mae Architects, Make:Good
  • Henley Halebrown Rorrison, AOC, VOGT
  • Karakusevic Carson Architects (lead), Tony Fretton Architects, Robin Lee Architecture, Mark Projects

The appointment follows a raft of recent commissions by the west London local authority. Earlier this year We Made That were chosen for a separate scheme to regenerate Trinity Square on nearby Wealdstone High Street.

And Adam Khan Architects won a two-stage contest for a new housing scheme for the client near to Harrow-on-the-Hill train station in May.

Meanwhile elsewhere within the borough Hawkins\Brown is working on a £100 million regeneration of the Grange Farm estate, which will deliver 549 homes and a new 1,023m² community centre.

This summer Gort Scott completed the 650m2 refurbishment of a 1960s parade building in Walthamstow, north-east London.

Harrow Council: current regeneration schemes

  • Poets’ Corner (current civic centre site, housing-led regen): Stephen Taylor Architects, AAM, Sergison Bates
  • Haslam House (PRS): Stephen Taylor Architects
  • Vaughan Road (PRS): Adam Khan Architects
  • Waxwell Lane (PRS): Gort Scott Architects

 

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