The Curve

Location Slough
Client Slough Borough Council | Slough Urban Renewal | Morgan Sindall
Size 4,500m²
Status Built

bblur architecture: Shell and Core Design

2017 AJ Architecture Award, Shortlist
2017 Local Authority Building Control Award, Winner

It has been a long, complex journey for the team. Collaborating with CZWG has been very successful and I am delighted that our building successfully transforms what was a dreary, cluttered part of Slough into a distinctive and vibrant new community hub.

Matthew Bedward, BBLUR Architecture

The Curve is the flagship public building and the key community amenity in the on-going regeneration of Slough’s town centre – ‘The Heart of Slough’. The 4,500m², three-storey, 90m long building, designed by BBLUR architecture in collaboration with CZWG, was conceived as a vibrant community hub accommodating a library, 280 seat performance space, teaching and exhibition space, and meets the Council’s aspirations to consolidate disparate community and Registrar services from across the town centre.

BBLUR’s concept creates a welcoming sculptural marker. The gently curved silver clad ‘tube’ wraps around the rear of St Ethelbert’s Grade II listed flint Church to form two new public squares and a reading garden. Glazed East and West facades welcome visitors to the building and signal a pedestrian route linking the town centre high street with new developments to the West. The glazed entrances are body tinted to reduce solar gains while maximising transparency and views.

CZWG was invited to collaborate on the interiors following completion of the acclaimed Canada Water Library. We expanded BBLUR’s concept of the ground floor pedestrian route to become a journey throughout the whole building. The ground floor houses a café with its view to the reading garden, exhibition space and the performance venue with doors that can open to the public plaza.

Two generous curving staircases tempt visitors up to the first floor main library, double height atrium and generous study areas on the second floor.

Designed as a single integrated community space, inclusive design features of The Curve include the ground floor café, level entrances, widened automatic entrances, fully accessible Changing Places facilities, a children’s library and the multi-purpose performance space. The Curve achieves a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. The scheme has 300m² of photovoltaic panels on the roof and a low energy displacement ventilation system. Limited slot glazing and roof lights within the well-insulated skin provide controlled day lighting to the central interior spaces. Lighting controls and a Building Management System ensure efficient heating and lighting.

The Curve was delivered by SUR as part of a successful LABV partnership agreement between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Construction. The completion of a memorable new public landmark within the regeneration area coupled with the imminent arrival of Crossrail is facilitating the transformation of Slough’s town centre as a very desirable place to live and work.