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  • Bunhill 2 Energy Centre
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View: Grid List
The Hyde Group
London Borough of Brent
NEAT: Excellent, EcoHomes Very Good
Roddy Langmuir
Fife Belcher, Calford Seaden Partnership, Terence O'Rourke, Sharps Redmore, Whitelaw Turkington (Grontmij), Rydon Construction
Brit Insurance Design Awards Finalist (2011) Civic Trust Award (2011) Civic Trust Special Award for Community Impact & Engagement (2011) Sustain’ Magazine Award for Design & Architecture (2010) Building for Life Award (2010) Building for Life Gold Standard (2010) Building Better Healthcare Award (2010) Mail on Sunday British Homes Award (2009) Wood Awards Structural Category - Highly Commended (2009)
CABE Case Study (2011)

Stonebridge Hillside Hub – the final phase of an ambitious regeneration plan for a northwest London estate – is drawing the local community together.

Stonebridge Hillside Hub

Stonebridge Hillside Hub is the lynch pin that marked the end of 14 years of regeneration of the Stonebridge Estate, once blighted by urban deprivation. 

It is a community building in every sense of the word – with a health centre, community centre, a small supermarket, café, 59 mixed-tenure apartments, private car parking and garden, and a public piazza. 


Stonebridge Hillside Hub has reinforced the economic, social and environmental improvements that regeneration has brought to a deprived part of the London Borough of Brent. It brings huge benefits to a 4,000-strong culturally diverse local community.

It has been designed to bring people together; improve local health; provide educational, leisure and community initiatives; encourage investment in the local housing market; and provide retail space.

It was funded by a government grant, private finance and a Housing Corporation grant. The scheme is economically self-sustaining: rental value is partly recycled back into the local community to support educational and employment programmes.

The health centre provides comprehensive care including general practice, dentistry, podiatry, district nursing, women’s services and a baby clinic.

A wide range of opportunities and activities is on offer to all members of the community: the Stonebridge Training and Employment Project; IT training; after-school support to help children and young people in their educational attainment; a dance studio; and space for all types of social events.

Stonebridge Hillside Hub is inclusive – with easy access for everyone. Paved areas providing access are laid with gradual slopes and without trip hazards. There are power-assisted entrance doors; visually clear and tactile signage; induction loops at reception desks; and six disabled parking places.

"The Hillside Hub is the jewel in the crown of 14 years of transforming the Stonebridge Estate. With its health centre, office and commercial facilities and affordable homes, the Hub has brought people together and become the vibrant focal point for community activity. It dynamically demonstrates that physical and social regeneration can and should improve the life chances of local people."

Steve Ryan, Centre Development Manager for Hillside


Stonebridge Hillside Hub works because it responds to what its users and the wider local community said they wanted.

There were regular workshops throughout the design phase. We worked closely with the various groups and individuals, for example health professionals, who would be using the building and tailored the design to meet their needs. 

"Cullinans showed considerable skill in working with Hyde, Rydon and a number of end-users...The resulting building is visually very attractive and works well from the users' points of view. It is very popular with the local community and fulfils the objective of providing a vibrant heart at the centre of the regenerated estate."

Nigel Swanton, Project Director, The Hyde Group


The first – and pivotal – design decision was to locate all uses under one roof. The original plan had been for different buildings on separate sites. We wanted to open up opportunities for social interaction by overlapping the various functions.

One building – but separating it into three blocks has reduced its mass. Two six-storey wings sit either side of the three-storey community centre. The wings’ distinctive prows enclose a new public space sheltered from the busy street by trees and level changes. At the rear a private landscaped garden is designed to screen the car park.

The massing responds to the existing urban grain by matching local building heights and is carefully handled so as not to obstruct light and views to neighbouring houses.

Materials have been chosen for their aesthetic, functional and environmental qualities and each helps to express a different part of the building. From the outside, each element is clearly identifiable.

Residential accommodation on the upper four floors of each wing is clad in Siberian larch, which is resistant to staining. Boards of varying profiles are fixed vertically and horizontally to give the façade texture, light and shadow. For the health centre, high-quality white brick is used. Individually designed brick lintels over windows and balconies give the façade an appearance of depth and permanence.

The community centre is strongly articulated by the graceful curve of the hall’s zinc-clad roof. This has been carefully designed so that daylight to the apartments is not obstructed. It extends out to the new public piazza, creating a generous entrance canopy to the community centre.

Community Centre roof clad in zinc

The hard-paved piazza – ideal for community events and outside café seating – uses a simple palette of high-quality materials and planting and works with the topography of the site.

The concrete frame of the building provides good acoustic separation between residential accommodation and other parts of the building. It will also allow the building to be easily adapted over time as internal walls can be moved without structural implications.


An energy-efficient building, a landscaped garden, bird boxes and a green trellised wall have replaced a petrol station and contaminated land.

The residential accommodation at Stonebridge Hillside Hub has achieved an EcoHomes ‘very good’ rating. Each apartment enjoys good daylight levels, has efficient condensing boilers and low energy light fittings, and its own covered outside cycle space.

The health centre also scores highly with a NEAT ‘excellent’ rating. It has a mixed mode passive ventilation system – to provide natural ventilation to the rooms wherever practically possible – and has exceptionally well insulated walls. Insulation to the whole development exceeds Building Regulations standards by over 20 per cent. 

Each of the two wings is wide enough to accommodate a central corridor with rooms and apartments on either side – so all inhabited rooms have both daylight and views.

The community centre uses solar thermal water heating, and rainwater recycling is used to water the garden and flush the public toilets.

Materials are durable, robust and sustainably sourced, as well as visually attractive. Where possible, natural materials were used, for example, the timber ceilings in the community centre, curved glulam beams for the community hall’s roof, and linoleum floors in the health centre.