Slough regeneration progresses at pace with support for The Future Works

11th March 2021

No 1 and No 3 The Future Works, a 260,000 sq ft commercial quarter in the heart of Slough adjacent to the Crossrail station, has received planning consent. The project for AshbyCapital, the property investment advisory company, and specialist regeneration and property developer, U+I, will: deliver 260,000 sq ft of office and amenity space that targets net-zero carbon emissions; offer multiple roof terraces with a kitchen garden and yoga lawn; and significantly improve public realm including botanical pavilion and outdoor auditorium.

Located either side of the existing building by Sheppard Robson and completing the office campus, No 1 The Future Works will offer 170,000 sq ft of office and retail space across 12 storeys with roof terraces throughout the building, while No 3 The Future Works comprises 92,000 sq ft of office space including a large communal roof terrace. ID:SR Sheppard Robson have been part of the collaborative design process, working on interior concepts and strategy.

The Future Works aims to deliver two of the most sustainable and technologically advanced buildings within the Thames Valley, targeting net-zero carbon emissions, including an ambitious reduction in embodied carbon, and a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ for the office floorspace. The all-electric development will be compatible with future 5th Generation district energy networks and through a range of environmental measures, including integrated PV panels, a high-performance façade and solar control, electric vehicle charging, rainwater harvesting, and site-wide heat reclaim, will exceed a 40% reduction in annual carbon emissions in comparison to an identically-sized average building from the 2000s.

The designs also include a significantly improved public realm for this new commercial quarter. Three retail units, totalling 4,000 sq ft and located in No 1 The Future Works, will embellish the area’s amenity offering, while the existing environment will be significantly improved through the introduction of an outdoor auditorium, new seating and soft landscaping.

Peter Ferrari, Chief Executive of AshbyCapital, said:

“With one building completed to an exceptional standard, part let, and with strong interest in the remaining space, we’re excited to get the next phase of this major regeneration project underway. Covid-19 has accelerated some trends we were already seeing in the office market: increased flexibility, more widespread use of technology, and a greater focus on collaboration, wellness and community.

“No 1 and No 3 The Future Works will be best-in-class examples of innovative, future-proofed office buildings that facilitate collaboration and prioritise the health and wellbeing of their occupants; perfectly suiting the evolving demands of occupiers. As interest grows in high-quality, well-connected workspaces outside of major city centres, the new phases of The Future Works are ideally placed to capitalise on this demand.”

Paul Patenall, Project Director at U+I, commented:

“Slough already has the highest concentration of global headquarters outside London and multiple titles for being a great place to live and work. With the Elizabeth Line and a number of other major regeneration projects underway, the future is bright for Slough. As we all look forward to returning to our town centres and offices, we’re excited to reaffirm our confidence in Slough and breathe renewed life into the heart of this increasingly vibrant town.”

Mark Kowal, Partner at Sheppard Robson, added:

‘The new No 1 and No 3 The Future Works have been designed to have their own character, while still fitting within a coordinated family of buildings—all of which feature wellbeing as a guiding principle. With public amenities that offer a place for calm and respite, while simultaneously adding life to this new development, The Future Works is helping further establish Slough as an enticing workplace destination, while contributing to place making.’

The new designs for No 1 and No 3 The Future Works give each building its own individual identity, while feeling integrated with the overall development, with the massing of the new buildings responding to the sharply articulated form of the existing No 2 The Future Works. The ground floor uses include office entrances, cafés, restaurants and wellness spaces, in reference to the themes which define the public realm—arrival, collaboration, performance, activity, respite and contemplation—and respond to emerging future post-pandemic office demands.