Tower House and Ashbourne House are two vacant 11 storey Council owned flat blocks located on the edge of Slough Town Centre. The scheme is a model for high density affordable living within a town centre. 193 affordable homes are being delivered on this 1.14 hectare site, all designed to minimum Nationally Described Space Standards, minimising circulation spaces and demands on service charges, using high quality robust materials.
Slough Borough Council’s flagship project spear-heads the delivery of 100% affordable exemplary Council housing providing 1 and 2 bedroom flats and 3 bedroom maisonettes for local people in the heart of Slough with all homes will be social rent or Slough Living Rent. The proposals provide a significant amount of family housing, with 129 homes (66%) being two and three bedroom properties providing accommodation for the increasing number of families on the waiting list in Slough.
Of these 49% are larger family homes accommodating 4 and 5 people. 10 wheelchair adaptable flats and maisonettes have been designed throughout the scheme, each with their own accessible parking space, and with level access to all the landscaped amenity spaces. Sensory biodiverse planting, raised community gardening beds, natural play and level access are integrated throughout the two courtyard gardens.
The architecture reflects the distinctive character of the surrounding Victorian streets with decorative brick detailing, ordered bays of grouped windows and contrasting precast concrete framing. All balconies are recessed with a lighter material used within the recess to reflect light into the homes. The buildings are separated between the northern and southern parts of the site with heights ranging from 3 storeys to a 16 storey tower. The 16 storey element is also proposed to create a wayfinder for the town and respond to the adjacent urban context. The Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to grant planning approval in July 2019.
From the outset HTA and the Council collaborated with the local Chalvey Forum through regular meetings, and held two public drop in exhibitions helping to shape the proposals. Engagement with local residents and the Council emphasised the importance of this site connecting the town centre with the surrounding neighbourhood, and providing enhanced play facilities for the community. Fundamental to the proposal is a new east-west connection through the site providing a higher quality landscaped space for the local community to enjoy alongside the new community space.