Willesden Green Cultural Centre

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An airy dynamic space breathing new life into a community

The prestigious new £25 million Cultural Centre for the community of Willesden Green opened in September 2015, fulfilling an ambitious brief. It incorporates the restoration of a much-loved small Victorian library building with a contemporary new library and cultural hub, and 95 new one and two-bed residential apartments, all set within a conservation area of North London.

A key feature of the Centre is the internal atrium with VELUX Modular Skylights set in a stunning triangular formation to echo the building’s triangular design. The attractive atrium serves to unify the entire building, creating an inviting sense of space.

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Enlightening culture

High above the community play area and open escalators, the VELUX Modular Skylights provide a fresh, bright and airy focus. The abundant natural daylight draws people deeper into the building, turning new visitors into regular library users and ensuring full use of all the facilities; the design is critical to the success of this community amenity.

The architects’ response to the rich architectural context is already proving to be very popular. All residential apartments were pre-sold before the new centre opened its doors.

The Cultural Centre encompasses the following facilities:

• Library

• Café

• Customer Contact Point

• Brent Archive

• Brent Museum

• Exhibition Space

• Performance Space

• Ampitheatre

Discreetly located beneath the Centre are 115 car parking spaces.

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“This was the first installation in the UK of a VMS Atrium Longlight Solution and it was a great answer to the challenging design of the building. A key benefit to main contractors is the fast installation process, enabling internal trades to commence sooner than when using conventional site assembled systems. The finished installation looks magnificent particularly as the incorporated smoke vents are completely indistinguishable due to the concealed 24v actuators.”

Robert Culley, Sales Director at Roofglaze Ltd

Excellence in choice of suppliers

This complex project came together swiftly through the collaborative, one-team approach taken by all suppliers. Brent Council worked with Galliford Try, a leading construction company, and their brand Linden Homes; architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; and Ground Construction Ltd, who provided the concrete frame and Roofglaze, an installation partner of VELUX.

VELUX Modular Skylights were specified for many reasons, not least because of the reputation for excellent durable quality; the atrium is the highest focal point of the central four-storey building, with two lower rectilinear three-storey wings running alongside two adjacent roads.

Cost-efficiency was also another important feature of the solution offered by VELUX, together with the ongoing customer support available before, during and after specification.

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Sleek, energy-efficient VELUX design

The outstanding energy performance of VELUX Modular Skylights with one of the lowest overall U-values available was significant in their selection, as the building is targeting an overall BREEAM “Excellent” rating.

The prefabricated all-in-one frame and glass modular system was delivered ready for installation, in the correct order, expediting the building’s construction as no on-site assembly was required.

Roofglaze fixed each skylight into position swiftly and with 100% precision using VELUX mounting brackets and clamps. Even the flashings were insulated and prefabricated for a perfect fit, ensuring a watertight finished roof space.

VELUX Modular Skylights incorporate beautifully concealed ventilation modules, together with solar protection. This ensures strong climate control for the comfort of everyone who is passing through the space.

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Specification to the architect’s design

Creating the atrium involved five rows of VELUX Longlights with 19° pitch. The following specification formed the triangular effect:

Row 1

• 1 pcs fixed modules: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 2pc venting modules with motor: W – 750mm H – 1800mm

Row 2

• 2 pcs fixed modules: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 1 pcs venting modules with motor: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 2 pcs of venting modules with motor: W – 750mm H – 1800mm

Row 3

• 3 pcs fixed modules: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 2 pcs venting modules with motor: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 2 pcs of venting modules with motor: W – 750mm H – 1800mm

Row 4

• 4 pcs fixed modules: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 3 pcs venting modules with motor: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 2 pcs of venting modules with motor: W – 750mm H – 1800mm

Row 5

• 5 pcs fixed modules: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 4 pcs venting modules with motor: W – 1000mm H – 1800mm

• 2 pcs of venting modules with motor: W – 750mm H – 1800mm