9 of Berkshire’s most gruesome buildings

Downtowns across the country tend to be a mishmash of architectural styles.

Unless they look like downtown Bracknell, which has now been built twice in its history in one go, there is a range of styles. Ancient churches and pubs can be found among the 1970s office buildings that stand next to shiny modern buildings.

It often happens that many buildings constructed in the 60s and 70s do not really stand the test of time.

While we marvel at the amazing designs and innovation of very old buildings, we don’t tend to have the same affection for big, tall blocks clearly built in a hurry 50 or 60 years ago.

Local authorities have done a good job ridding cities of these architectural monstrosities.

In Reading, for example, the much ridiculed Kings Point building has been replaced by the chic and expensive Verto apartments. Reading’s unloved civic offices were also torn down and replaced with something much less visually offensive.

In Slough, a lot of effort has gone into improving the town’s reputation as a concrete jungle, with the replacement of a number of buildings like the Slough Library.

Where there are more beautiful old buildings, like the old Horlicks factory, a lot of effort is made to keep their history intact.

But these things take time, and a number of reminders of old-fashioned architecture remain.

Here are some of the most notoriously ugly buildings, and in one case a road, in Berkshire.

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Easthampstead House, Bracknell

Large and Gray – Bracknell’s Easthampstead House

Millions of pounds have been spent tearing down Bracknell’s infamous gray, concrete and unwelcoming downtown and replacing it with the brand new and highly intelligent The Lexicon.

But despite the size of the new shopping district, part of the old town remains.

A small area containing the Bracknell Library and Empty Bracknell Police Station and Bracknell Magistrates’ Court is still on site.

What also remains is the former home of the Bracknell Forestry Council, Easthampstead House. This is a building that is at least 15 years old.

The council no longer uses it and there are plans to demolish the entire area as part of the latest regeneration plans.

He will not fail, especially by anyone who says through meetings in the old boardroom inducing headache.

The Coley Apartments, reading

The high rise apartments at the estate of Coley Park in Reading, Berkshire
The infamous high-rise apartments

On the subject of the big ugly concrete buildings, we are moving to the Coley Apartments in Reading. The difference here is that people actually live in this block.

The building dominates the area and is also infested with rats.

They basically need to be knocked down and replaced with something nicer, but the cash-strapped Reading Borough Council has never offered to do so.

More council houses are planned in the area, which have encountered fierce opposition from locals.

Thames Valley University, Slough

Thames Valley University looks bleak in 2018

There are big plans for this site on the outskirts of Slough town center.

It could eventually be demolished and converted into a huge development of 1,000+ homes. However, at the end of 2020, it’s still there, empty, abandoned, and ugly.

It has been closed since 2009 and Slough Borough Council is very keen to see a site redevelopment project with houses and offices moving forward in 2021.

The Bristol and West Arcade, Reading

Bristol and West Arcade has been empty for several years

This is an old shopping arcade in Reading town center. It closed in 2007 and has remained abandoned ever since.

This is a large part of town at the end of Friar Street, joining Market Place, and includes the old Coopers Arms pub.

The good news is that there are plans for a major overhaul of the neighborhood, which could lead to the pub reopening.

The bad news is that a plan of this magnitude will likely take a number of years, and it will stay there for a while, as no planning requests have been submitted, let alone approved.

Ashbourne House and Tower House, Slough

Ashbourne House in Slough

The good news is that work has started to regenerate one of those massive towers in Slough.

The less good news is that Slough Borough Council is stuck in a stalemate with the owner of one of the apartments at Ashbourne House refusing to sell.

This means that the demolition of the Huge Horrors near Slough Magistrates’ Court will be delayed as the council pursues the long and expensive compulsory purchase of the remaining apartment so that it can demolish the building.

Plans are to replace the dilapidated buildings with much nicer council apartments and all council members are hopeful that the dispute can be resolved.

Its neighbor, Tower House, has now been demolished.

Meadway, Reading

Meadway Precinct needs a lot of love

Located on the outskirts of Reading in Tilehurst, the 1960s shopping district is in dire need of a renovation. Fortunately, there are plans in place to do just that with new stores and homes on offer.

These have not yet obtained permission, but that would mean the end of the antiquated enclosure that has been much left behind.

It’s likely that the plans will be viewed this year, and if allowed, we might see some movement on this project at some point in 2021.

Reading Police Station and Reading Magistrates’ Court

Reading Magistrates’ Court and Reading Police Station

Reading the Magistrates’ Court, similar to its Slough, Bracknell and Maidenhead counterparts, is not a thing of architectural beauty. Reading Police Station, which is next door on Castle Street, is not either.

In 2018, Reading Borough Council announced a major reorganization plan the whole area around rue Hosier, which would end up seeing the end of the courthouse, the police station, and even the Hexagon Theater.

Reading Police are leaving the post in the fall of 2021 to move to a new building in South Reading.

The tribunal continues to operate, as the Justice Department has not indicated it will close.

The council hasn’t released many more details since the announcement two years ago. That doesn’t mean the work isn’t done in the background and that plans could emerge during 2021, but as it stands, the police station could end up sitting empty once officers get through. moved.

Murdoch’s, reading

Murdoch’s in Old Bath Road, Calcot

Murdoch’s is a former restaurant on the Reading and West Berkshire border in Calcot. It has been empty and abandoned since 2013.

It has become a popular spot with vandals and also received a number of visits from travelers, who left an entire trailer behind after a visit in 2017.

Plans to turn it into apartments have come and gone, and a rather bizarre plan to demolish it and turn it into a parking lot was also turned down in 2019.

Point Royal Apartments, Bracknell

Bracknell’s Point Royal Apartments

It’s a controversial selection.

The people of Bracknell regard the Easthampstead apartments as a dilapidated horror. However, architects consider them, and we are not making this up, among the most beautiful buildings in the world.

The 17-story tower was designed by Arup Associates, responsible for some of the world’s most famous buildings. The company counts the Sydney Opera House and the London Eye among its other achievements.

The hexagonal tower is now a Grade II listed building as it is a fine example of 1960s architecture.

About Mary Moser

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