- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
Slough Borough Council
Structural engineering, civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, building services engineering, fire engineering, transportation consultancy, sustainability and BREEAM consultancy.
Long reviled as uninspiring, overdeveloped and industrial, central Slough is undergoing a massive £400 million regeneration programme. Buro Happold has been involved with a series of projects which will form the new Heart of Slough development, replacing a number of outdated buildings, an unpopular bus station and a pedestrian interchange below grade in the centre of a main roundabout with new commercial and civic facilities and a pedestrian friendly roadway.
The first of the projects to be completed is Slough Bus Station, which opened this May. Described as ‘a silver dolphin’ and ‘waves of light’, the iconic new facility links with the nearby train station to create a unified transport hub which forms the first part of an pleasant and safe route between the train station and the town centre. The architects for the project were the newly formed Bblur Architecture who worked with the Buro Happold team to create a bus station which was more than a functional civic building, providing shelter to waiting passengers and a stopping point for busses, but a piece of public art.
One of the key challenges for Buro Happold’ structural team was to turn the architect’s vision of a wave-shaped building in to a reality, creating a roof that only touches the ground in two places 60 metres apart. The curved roof was made possible by creating a pair of long span undulating trusses which were, although elegant in their own right, fully clad to create the final form of the canopy. The building has been clad in aluminium panels to create a softly textured metallic surface which changes colour with the varying light conditions and allowed the complex form to be achieved in a cost effective manner. The canopy is designed to be extended to twice its current length when the overall Heart of Slough development is completed.
Slough Borough Council’s brief was to deliver an eye-catching, user friendly building with enviable sustainability credentials. The station uses ground source heat pumps connected to high efficiency heating and cooling systems in order to reduce the energy consumption, with a closed loop well field situated under the main forecourt of the bus station. Rainwater from the main canopy is collected and recycled on site to be used for toilet flushing. As a result, the Bus Station is on target to achieve a completed BREEAM rating of “Very Good”.
Tucked at the end of the feature canopy is a hub building which provides the amenities required in such a facility, including a public cafe on the ground floor, an information desk, recreation and canteen space for the drivers, and the operations centre, overlooking the bus stop bays at first floor level, within a 600m2 area. The plant rooms are tucked under the springing point for the curved roof of the canopy.
The building and its canopy was the subject of much public comment when it opened in May 2011 and will provide an iconic and efficient facility for Slough in the 21st Century, being very different from the previous bus station, and others around the country.
Work is now progressing on the next stage of the Heart of Slough redevelopment and the new library scheme, which Buro Happold has developed in partnership with Bblur Architecture, has received planning permission. It is hoped that further design work on this will commence in the autumn of 2011.