For work, I have to take the train from London Paddington to Maidenhead and passing through Slough train station, a building has always caught my attention. This is the ‘new’ Slough bus station created by Bblur architecture. It is part of the ‘Heart of Slough’ town centre redevelopment plan, with the aim to revamp the perception of Slough.
In fact, the building is not so new anymore as it opened in May 2011. But it’s quite a change from the outdated old Brunel bus station built in the 70’s. The futuristic animal-like building contrasts from the former concrete ‘fortress’. The light and undulating aluminium clad differs completely from the rough angular concrete structure. Like most modern and sculptural buildings that are brave enough to stand out from the traditional city landscape, this construction generated some controversy. Personally, it makes me think of some sort of Sci-fi creatures like the sentinels in Matrix. Actually, maybe an animal-hybrid: an eel’s body with a whale-shark’s mouth.
However, I couldn’t be further away from Bblur architecture’s inspiration, which came from the infra-red waves discovered by the famous astronomer Sir Frederick William Herschel in 1800. Maybe I should also mention that he was living in Slough at the time!
No matter what it really represents or what you think you see, this building is eye-catching and it triggers some comments. It’s very unusual and also very artistic. In my opinion, it could easily find its place in the Tate Modern engine room, if only it could fit in.
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