Highgate Newtown Community Centre scoops top award for McBains

Highgate Newtown Community Centre scoops top award for McBains

Highgate Newtown Community Centre in north London — for which leading construction consulting and design agency McBains provides a range of services — has received a prestigious planning award.

The centre was Highly Commended for the Placemaking – Award for Design Excellence at the 2019 Planning Awards, held at the Royal Institute of British Architects this week.

McBains are working for the London Borough of Camden on the scheme as lead consultant, project manager and employer’s agent, quantity surveyor, mechanical and electrical engineering, structural engineering and BREEAM environmental consultants, and have a range of specialist sub-consultants including architects, RCKa.

The scheme will transform a neglected and cut-off community centre site into a high-quality and vibrant piece of urban public realm. It will secure the future of local community services for many years to come, alongside affordable and market housing arranged around a new public courtyard that encourages social cohesion through both design and use.

Demolition of the existing buildings will start later this year 2019 and the new construction is expected to commence in early 2020.

The Planning Awards are run by Planning magazine in conjunction with Planning Resource and Placemaking Resource. The Awards recognise excellence in both planning and placemaking. As well as recognising outstanding professional planning work, they also reward excellence in planning-related activities such as placemaking, urban design, economic development, housing, regeneration, legal advice and environmental consulting.

Nick James, Director at McBains, said: “We are delighted to have received this award for the Highgate Newtown Community Centre, which will revitalise a tired and unloved site into a vibrant community hub.

“In particular we were delighted the judges recognized that the scheme demonstrates the highest standard of architectural engagement and urban design. It pushes the boundaries of local authority development, within a strict financial envelope, constrained site and politically charged environment. The project is an exemplar of sustainable, mixed-use and high-density community living.”

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