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Slough Bus Station, Slough, United Kingdom

Friday 23 Sep 2011

On the road to recovery

Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom
Hufton and Crow 
Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture in Slough, United Kingdom
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26/06/12 Peter Daniells, Cookham
It is strange how the only people to like the new bus station in these comments, are those who live far away, and never use it to catch a bus, or see only a fleeting glimpse from a passing train. Are they all students of architecture perhaps? Even the editorial on the right is wrong, there is no 'interior waiting area', or 'separate waiting room', as this small space has entirely been taken over as seating for users of the cafe. You can only squeeze in there if you also buy refreshments!
Passengers therefore must wait in the open, mindful of cyclists who use the sloping waiting area as a high speed short cut, and because of the designed in poor protection from the weather, a couple of bus shelters have now been installed by the council under the wavy canopy. The bus station seems to be known locally as 'The Slug'.
It may look "fab" from a passing train, but from a bus user's point of view, is it fit for purpose? Certainly not.
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29/05/12 E Wren, London
Fab building - looks terrific from the train to Oxford. Bravo.
29/10/11 Donna Marks, Slough
Another botched regeneration project courtesy of Slough Borough Council.
The wave design has been compared to a basking shark probably because basking sharks authorised this poor excuse of a bus station.

Don't even think about catching a bus from it unless you don't mind standing in the rain, snow and wind for around 30 or 60 minutes for your bus. Only to be greeted by the ever so rude and unhelpful drivers. That is of course if you don't miss the bus because you couldn't see that it had arrived in the first place from the rubbish waiting area.

It is less comfortable and practical that the famously grotesque Brunel Bus Station and Car Park. Slough transport facilities have deterioated so badly that it is very daunting saying you are going to travel to work or visit most places.

It is actually quicker to cycle for 30 minutes than to use a bus to do the 3 mile journey in.

There are large pockets of deprivation in Slough despite the town being hailed as one of the most industrious towns outside London.
Thanks to our Slough Borough Council who have a knack for wasting their funds on rubbish quality refurbs like the pavements in the High Street in 2008- 2009 (£9M) and now the most miserable bus station revamp I've ever seen (£7M).

This rubbishy road system and bus service is of no use to residents of the local parishes like Britwell, Manor Park or Northborough Estates. Companies like O2 have to lay on their own private bus service so their staff can get to the various sites and back to Slough Bus / Train station. No one could seriously consider doing that on First Bus Service.

This is the latest horrendous mis-spend of taxpayers money. While Youth Clubs and other important community projects are cut Slough Borough Council are chucking money into very poorly thought out developments.

Slough residents and visitors are left to struggle with expensive private transport and very congested roads. Even short distances are like hell to drive through and it is becoming worse as local residents commute out of town to low paid jobs while some 30,000 people come in from surrounding towns to fill the skills gaps. Apparently 6500 people are on a waiting list to move into the deprived estate of Britwell.
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Long-awaited Slough Bus Station by bblur architecture now open for business 

bblur architecture’s curvaceous design for Slough Bus Station is highly controversial. Part of the £450m Heart of Slough scheme, which looks to enliven the area with a host of new 8-14 storey commercial buildings and this transport facility, the undulating canopy is located opposite the existing listed mainline railway station and replaces a number of derelict offices, the original bus station, and a multi storey car park.

The design has been compared to a basking shark and a fish, and now complete has drawn mixed reviews from local residents and architecture critics. Commenting on WAN’s last report on the project, Peter Daniells from Cookham conveys: “The wavy roof is so high that wind and rain blow in on passengers waiting below, as I’m sure the snow will do in winter. The ‘waiting room’ which is still unfinished [as of 12/06/11] and locked out of use, looks big enough to hold about a dozen people, and is too far from the bus stands for people to be able to see when their bus has arrived.”

In contrast, other users have applauded the slick designs, Julia Green from London deeming it ‘Absolutely amazing!’ and Samuel from Mullingar admitting ‘This is forward thinking and a departure from mainstream bus station designs. We should expect more eye catching designs from this architect’.

The station itself is clad in aluminium shingles which form a rich, textured metallic surface, alternating in colour as the weather changes through the seasons. A 130m canopy and pedestrian walkway form the heart of the development and offer passengers space to await the arrival of their next bus either on the covered platform or in a separate waiting room. This canopy is anchored by a 660 sq m volume with views across the neighbouring rail station, encompassing a public cafe, the interior waiting area, a newsagent, bus operator facilities, information point and ticket office.

Matthew Bedward, Founding Partner of bblur and lead architect on the project explains: “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.”

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
bblur architecture

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