A first look at Sheppard Robson's Brunel Place, Slough which transforms a derelict site into a new commercial hub
Sheppard Robson has released images of the major new commercial quarter for client U+I, Brunel Place, which is a key part of the wider £450m Heart of Slough regeneration project.
The images show the detailed designs for the first phase of the project, 2 Brunel Place, which is the central building of three Sheppard Robson-designed structures that are part of the original masterplan for the development. These three buildings are linked through a series of corresponding angular forms and a new sequence of public spaces that encourage pedestrian flow through the site.
Brunel Place transforms a key site adjacent to Slough train and bus stations, accommodating over 30,000 sq m of office and retail units arranged around new public realm spaces, linking the north side of Bath Road to the town centre on the south side. The massing and composition of the three buildings are a direct response to the opening up of distant views towards the listed St Ethelbert's church.
With around 9,300 sq m of office space, 2 Brunel Place will kick-start the vision for the project, setting the architectural language for the development. The building will be characterised by solid aluminium panelled facades to the east and west that respond to the specific environmental conditions, with these materials also featuring on the north façade between two glazed bays.
The main façade along the Bath Road is predominantly glazed, opening up views towards Windsor Great Park. This façade incorporates aluminium powder-coated brise-soleils, which are carefully positioned to control solar gain whilst optimising views out over the local area and beyond. All elevations have a consistent two-storey bay rhythm, which - with the distinctive angularity of the structures - creates a cohesive family of buildings.
As with all three elements of the development, the street presence of 2 Brunel Place is defined by double-height reception and a retail unit that follows the form of the building. The bases of the central and east buildings rise towards each other, framing the 'gateway' pedestrian space between the two structures.
All office floors have been designed around single cores to provide efficient, highly flexible spaces benefitting from high levels of natural daylight. The roof of 2 Brunel Place will feature a series of roof gardens which will provide amenity space for occupiers.
Mark Kowal, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: "Brunel Place transforms a currently derelict site into a new commercial hub, and we wanted the first element of the development to be a marker of this ambition.
"The design provides a new scale and quality of workplace that is woven into the wider urban fabric, encouraging connections between Slough's transport hub and the newly regenerated high street."
2 Brunel Place received full planning permission in 2008 and has since been amended by Sheppard Robson. 1 Brunel Place received outline consent in 2008, with detailed designs still to be progressed for the third element of the development.