Futuristic transport hub

Architectural glazing systems by Kawneer were specified for a transport hub at the heart of the regeneration of an area of Gloucester.

Kawneer’s AA100 zone-drained curtain walling, AA720 thermally superior doors, and two types of windows – AA540 fixed lights and AA3110 horizontal sliders – were selected by regular Kawneer specifiers BDP architects for the £6.6 million ‘futuristic’ new Gloucester bus station.

Designed with a single roof plane to resemble an aircraft wing and pay homage to the city’s aviation history, the building delivers an iconic yet affordable transport hub.

The new transport hub forms part of the initial phase of the regeneration of the city’s Kings Quarter and will integrate into the retail element with improved pedestrian links to the railway station and city centre.

The facility includes bus stands for 12 vehicles arranged in a chevron format to allow a Diro (drive in, reverse out) method of operation. It is also equipped with solar panels to power internal lighting, and has been designed to be fully accessible for people with disabilities.

With the Kawneer curtain walling at its core, the building is highly transparent to provide maximum visual contact with its surroundings and a calm, airy environment. The width of the public concourse allows ample circulation space as well as waiting and eating areas for individual stands.

The roof wing has an aerofoil section and is punctuated at several points to allow further light penetration to the concourse and bus stands.

Passenger information systems, timetable displays, interactive information points, a manned ticket office and a cafe, as well as a display of the Roman wall that was discovered underneath the foundations, also form part of the facilities.

Built on a brownfield site next to the old bus station, it will serve as a brand-new gateway to the city, replacing the dilapidated building which had stood largely unchanged for 50 years.

BDP architect Nick Fairham said: “The Kawneer systems suited our needs and were within budget. They help to define the public concourse from the bus stands.”

The Kawneer systems were installed over 15 weeks of a three-year build by a team of six from approved dealer Aluminium Sashes for main contractor Kier Construction.

Aluminium Sashes’ sales director Andrew Mather said: “The design of the main concourse curtain walling included 12 automatic doors allowing access to the external bus bays. These openings gave us an engineering challenge to provide support to the larger glass units above but we overcame this through collaborative design workshops with BDP’s structural engineers.”

City council leader Paul James said: “What we have got is a striking building that provides a statement of our ambitions for the city and sets the tone for the rest of the (Kings Quarter) development.

“We are very fortunate to have got government funding because it would have been very difficult for us to have made it happen without that support.”

At the official opening in October 2018, the station received a cavalcade of 15 vintage buses driven from Gloucester Docks across the city.