190 Bath Road

When we designed the structure of three prestigious new office buildings on Slough’s Bath Road, the emphasis of the client, Slough Estates, was on producing an elegant, high-quality development whilst carefully monitoring cost and programme.

The competition-winning scheme replaced four 1930s commercial buildings with one central four-storey building and two flanking three-storey buildings. The previous buildings were demolished in their entirety, and the ground conditions were investigated. The stability of the underlying Taplow Gravels enabled us to specify pad and strip foundations with a ground-bearing floor slab, considerably reducing cost.

Each concrete-framed building is formed around a full-height atrium, and is designed for maximum flexibility, allowing tenants to either occupy entire buildings or smaller sections. The atria improve energy efficiency through the use of galvanised steel grills which double up as solar shading and maintenance gantries.

Working with the concrete subcontractors we produced grids that varied between 6 × 6 m and 9 × 9 m, using prefabricated mat reinforcement. Perimeter columns provided stability and reduced the thickness of the façades, but also introduced overturning forces. This meant that the shear walls and columns which provided lateral stability were slightly larger than would be expected for the structure. We used high strength concrete to reduce the size of the columns as far as possible and maximise usable floor space.

The award-winning precast concrete cladding comprised a mix of micah-rich sand and concrete, providing a sparkle effect in sunny weather. The large panels are stacked and supported by ground floor column panels at 9 m centres. On south-facing façades, cladding gives way to a curtain wall system with full-width glazed panels and anodised aluminium spandrels. Roof-level canopies over-sailed the entrances, supported on white, fin-like precast columns. These were cast in one piece and secured to the foundations with bolts and restrained at roof level with a steel ‘outrigger’ clad with precast concrete.

Three high-quality office buildings with full-height atria

Slough, UK
Slough Estates
Nicholas Hare Architects
£ 18 million
13,800 m²