Slough bus station
Transport case study, Celsius®
Product: Celsius® 355 Circular Hollow Section
Client: Slough Borough Council
Architect: Bblur Architects
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
Steel Contractor: SH Structures
Main contractor: McLaren
The sleek, sculptural form of Slough bus station provides a memorable first and last impression of Slough. The new station was opened to the public in May 2011 as part of the ‘Heart of Slough’ regeneration scheme.
Tata Steel’s lightweight Celsius® 355 Circular Hollow Section was a vital component in the design of the station’s sinuous, long-span canopies. In addition to enabling an efficient and visually-striking solution, use of this versatile section also met the demand for a practical construction programme.
Slough bus station was the first building to be delivered as part of a £400 million regeneration programme in central Slough.
The architectural vision for the bus station was to create a piece of functional sculpture that would be a landmark for the town. The station needed to complement neighbouring listed buildings and act as a catalyst for further development in the heart of Slough.
The bus station design was inspired by the work on light wavelengths undertaken by one-time Slough resident and Astronomer Royal, Sir William Herschel.
The differing, wave-shaped forms of the station canopies were conceived to respond to the differing levels of weather protection required by passengers and busses.
Structural engineers, Buro Happold, worked closely with the architect to turn this ambitious and elegant design into a plausible reality. The solution entailed a pair of steel trusses to span the 50 metres from the accommodation block at one end of the station to a single point of support at the other. This support is provided by a random array of circular hollow section columns.
The long-span solution was rationalised into a pair of separate steel trusses comprising Celsius® 355 Circular Hollow Section in diameters of 193.7mm and 457mm. These were framed out with secondary and tertiary steel members to create the desired wave form. The undulating trusses, forming the ‘backbone’ of the canopies, vary in height off the ground.