bblur architecture is delighted to have completed the new Bus Station for Slough. The scheme, won in limited competition, is the first element of Slough Borough Council’s vision for the wider regeneration of the centre of Slough, known as ’The Heart of Slough’ with which the Council is seeking to change the perception of Slough. This wider masterplan brings new offices and retail into the town centre which when complete will create a compact vibrant new quarter to the town centre and provide its young, multi cultural population with a high quality urban environment.
The project has been led by Matthew Bedward founding partner of bblur, “We took the opportunity to significantly improve pedestrian permeability between the train station and the town centre. Our client tasked us to create a memorable front door for Slough. The form of the building derives from the idea of different wavelengths of light inspired by Astronomer Royal, William Herschel’s discovery of infra-red waves in 1800 while a resident of Slough.”
The bus station site is north of Wellington Street (A4) and opposite the listed mainline railway station on Brunel Way. The site was occupied by a derelict office building, an outdated bus station and a large multi storey car park, which created a significant urban barrier between the rail station and town centre.
The bus station scheme has two distinct functions. The primary function is to create a transport interchange with the rail station providing new, safe, efficient and enjoyable public transport facilities.
The second function improves the pedestrian permeability and legibility of the urban realm by creating a new north-south covered public route from the rail station through to the centre of Slough.
The scheme consists of a 130m canopy and pedestrian walkway anchored at its northern end with a 660m2 accommodation building which looks out onto the rail station. This building provides flexible space over two levels. The ground floor has a public cafe and waiting area, newsagent, bus operator facilities, information and a ticket office. The first floor contains the staff canteen, toilets and bus operator’s administration offices.
The building is clad in aluminium shingles creating a softly textured metallic surface which constantly changes character with the varying light conditions.
When the Heart of Slough master plan is complete the bus station will be surrounded by five 8 to 14 storey office buildings. The Bus Station is an urban object with the design considered from all aspects, passengers underneath and office workers viewing from above. Its sculptural form and the design of the hard landscaping will provide a counterpoint to the rectilinear corporate architecture. It will create an identifiable place within Slough that is a celebration of public transport and is a memorable first and last impression of Slough.
The clients brief called for the building to be designed to Breeam very good standard, and in achieving that the building incorporates, ground source heat pumps, SUDs grey water collection and use, a full BMS system with low energy lighting used throughout the scheme. The orientation of the building and the use of heavily insulated built up cladding system and carefully placed window minimises heat gain. The aluminium cladding is 97% recyclable and recycled plastic battons were used in the cladding build up.
The associated public realm and infrastructure works were completed in April 2012.