The Curve

Slough, Berkshire
Slough Borough Council
Bblur Architecture
Morgan Sindall
Quantity Surveyor
Gardiner & Theobald
Arts and Leisure

Project Scope

  • Total Envelope
  • Roofing
  • Cladding
  • Rooflights
  • Curtain Walling
  • Plant Enclosures
  • Brise Soleil
  • Doorsets and Lobbies

At the heart of a £450m regeneration scheme, The Curve is Slough’s premier library and cultural centre. Now complete, it houses a new library, café, museum, performance venue and learning rooms.

Key Challenges

  • Full building envelope design and warranty responsibility
  • Bespoke cladding system curved on plan and in section
  • Multiple package interfacing and maintenance of building performance lines
  • Inclusion of automated ventilation into BMS
  • Tight logistical and building sequence

The Brief

Having received planning permission in 2010, Colorminium were engaged by the consultant team when the design was at Stage C to assist in working up a detailed design that would deliver the architectural intent within the tight parameters of the LABV cost plan. Working with contractor Morgan Sindall under a 2-stage contract, the design was developed through Stage D to Stage E at which point Colorminium took responsibility for the detailed design and delivery of the full building envelope.

Our Approach

Programme and methodology have been vital to the whole approach and were the major drivers throughout the design process. The complex geometry meant the design of a bespoke cladding system to the North, East and West elevations where the building is curved on plan and in the vertical section. Broken up by strips of vertically facetted curtain walling and with an inclined ‘eyebrow’ screen at the base, the glazing has also had its own set of challenges.

The roof was created using a steel liner sheet before a standing seam system was utilised that turned over into the vertical plane down the south elevation into the service yard.  Within the roofing system, rainwater goods and the management of water discharge was included that need co-ordination with the M&E design, taking the water transfer back inside the building.  The interface zone between the more conventional standing seam and bespoke cladding system was a critical focus to ensure integrity of weather and performance lines – which were all designed and co-ordinated by our internal team of designers.

Further scope including fire-rated elements to the party wall zones, internal acoustic plant rooms and an air ventilation system linked to the BMS that meant close collaboration was required with the key subcontractors and consultants to achieve the required building performance.

The Result

Now complete and open to the public, the finished building is stunning and plays a significant role in improving the quality of the town centre environment.

Project video