A new beacon for London's bus drivers and public in Kensal Rise, West London
In 2003, Fereday Pollard won the opportunity to design this bus driver's welfare building for London Buses, part of Transport for London.
The building, required to meet increasing driver needs for secure 24 hour accommodation on shift breaks, is adjacent to a main bus stand and railway station in north London.
The need for the building, which now provides mess facilities, male & female toilets and wash-up, was driven by increases in assaults on drivers and robberies, particularly at night. With little or no passive surveillance from adjoining properties, the bus stand was located in a poorly lit street without public conveniences.
Stemming from a brain-storming session with the Client team, initial schemes considered redevelopment of adjoining Kensal Rise station, providing a cafe and retail to improve passive surveillance.
The project focus later confirmed the need for highly durable building interior and exterior, materially graffiti resistant, that would feature largely automatic locking, heating, lighting and ventilation.
In streetscape terms, the steeply sloping site (a 5 metre change of level) required a double storey high building to avoid looking undersized. This requirement translated into a 6 metre high interior space, the upper proportion characterised by backlit proprietary glass planks providing reassuring night time illumination. The interlocking glass planks are individually replaceable in the event of vandalism.
Other robust materials in the building are glaze finish block walls, high security stainless steel doorsets and a laminated glass entrance canopy.
Building services are operated automatically; glass backlighting is 24 hour automated & internally supplemented by movement sensors, the roof mounted ventilation extracts also respond to internal temperature. Space heating is provided by ceiling mounted, temperature operated, infra red units.
With security considerations ruling out the incorporation of windows in the building, views onto London Buses' heritage have been provided featuring client selections of archive photographs. These include views of Stockwell Bus Garage, designed by Adie, Button and Partners, with the engineer A E Beer, opened in 1952.