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READING | Projects and Construction

85400 Views 699 Replies 70 Participants Last post by  zag2me
Reading - Station Hill

The Station Hill Redevelopment will involve the demolition and regeneration of a large area of 60's concrete jungle. Two office blocks (including the towns tallest) will be knocked down, along with a carpark and parade of shops.

In its place will be a series of 5 or 6 "tall" buildings ('tall' in Reading terms means between 15 and (a very respectable) 28). Ground level retail, public squares and entertainment also form part of the scheme.


In conjunction with the Chatham Place scheme to the West (under construction), and Abbey Mill House (15 & 8-storey office building complex) to the East, this marks a major fight-back from Reading Town Centre against the recent successes of the business parks (Green Park, Thames Valley Park, Arlington, Winnesh Triangle)
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this is what will be demolished for the station hill development -

we also have a 14 floor hotel almost finished
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I guess it's an improvement from the monstrosity that's currently residing in central Reading, most disgusting mess I've ever seen. That Station Hill Piazza looks quite nice.
Even though i know we're talking about reading, my heart jumped out of my mouth, i honestly thought when i saw the top of that pic that it was guys getting demolished. :(
That's enough to give me urban nightmares.
UGH! Those Mecca places, NCP car parks, travel Inns et al are fucking urban parasites, they live in squalor and make huge profits out of it.
Very nice projects. BTW I though Reading was already a city. It ought to be. It is a large and important place.
i remember about 6 years ago now reading had two skyscrapers approved of about 550 ft. one was called the air rights tower or something. does anyone have a link to any pages on that as ive been searching for years for them and cant find any info.

reading has a bad record at realising projects. this was never built -
and this beauty which i happen to love wasnt built either which is a crying shame, they built a 3 floor office block in its place
S.Yorks Capital said:
Very nice projects. BTW I though Reading was already a city. It ought to be. It is a large and important place.
Reading failed to be chosen as a millennium city. But this doesn't stop the council putting 'City of Reading' on buses and signs!
S.Yorks Capital said:
Very nice projects. BTW I though Reading was already a city. It ought to be. It is a large and important place.
In terms of business but not historically.
Cat man do said:
Reading failed to be chosen as a millennium city. But this doesn't stop the council putting 'City of Reading' on buses and signs!
Oh dear... ;)
Gothicform is correct that it is the 17-storey monstrous "Great Western" Tower that will be pulled down, along with the bingo hall, dis-used bus station, Hogg Robinson office as well as Garrad St car park.

I went to the exhibition and was told that Mr Madejski (Reading FC chairman and all-round Mr Reading - currently building a new school in the troubled Whitley area) was absolutely determined that the development would go ahead. It will be built in phases starting nearest the station with commerical space, spreading west and becoming more residential. A 500-seat community arts venue is also on the plans. The target date for demolition to begin is "within 2 years".

But as people rightly point out, Reading has had a track record of false starts. However, Mr Mad has a good record: the stadium is an excellent and well-planned facility, he was instrumental in the A33 relief road and, as I mention, his self-titled academy in a troubled suburb is under construction. And with the much-delayed Chatham Place scheme finally under construction it does seem that this scheme has a good chance of success, but whether the time scales become a reality remains to be seen. A very position exhibition though, and a very exciting development
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Good to hear the scheme has a good chance to go ahead but i cant stand the man. If he could get his own way reading would change its name to madjeskiville, some say its charity but why then would you name it seems each development after yourself. Argh!

The main development area in town in the next few years will be around the station. A scheme to build 4 new platforms and a new entrance is awaiting a government funding decision. Just to the south of the station John Madejski's Sackville Developments are in the early stages of planning a huge project potentially involving 5 20+ storey buildings around new civic squares. No planning application yet but they've got the land and hopefully demolition could begin in 2008.

Chatham Place is a scheme under construction by AMEC. The first phase involves 300+ apartments and a new multi-storey carpark. The second phase is much more interesting and will provide office space, a new square and covering over the inner distribution road linking the site into the existing town(grrr) centre.

Abbey Mill House will be a 15-floor office block and construction begins in December this year. For images see

There is planning permission for a 22 storey residential tower also near the station but no sign yet of demolition of the existing buildings.

Other interesting developments in and around town:
Malmaison are refurbishing the old Station Hotel converting it back to its original usage. Great brand for the town to have attracted. Accor has recently opened a new 14-floor hotel (divided into two: Novotel and Ibis), but it's not the best looking new building you've ever seen. Out-of-town Green Park is still expanding with construction on new buildings taking place, and at Thames Valley Park Microsoft are building themselves another building on their plush 'campus'. A new wind turbine, among the tallest in the UK, towers over GreenPark, the M4 and the Madejski stadium - which shall itself be extended should Reading FC retain their newly gained premiership status.
READING - Station Hill Reading (new skyline - one of the best in the UK?):

Station Hill Reading (view from the north):

Public space:

Mixed use ground floor (shops / restaurants etc):
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READING - Today Station Hill is a collection of tired, outdated and obsolete buildings that confront both residents and visitors to Reading as they arrive by bus or train. Station Hill is the major transport interchange in the town and by far its most significant gateway.

The transformation of this area is vital to securing the future of the town centre. Sackville’s development proposals will replace the current buildings with a development fit for 21st century

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LDN_Europe, I think it's a little early to hail Station Hill as the best new skyline in the UK! These images are really only concept images at this stage. Sackville plan the buildings to be mainly office space and they want to build that element first. I'm not sure that's the right approach. With the out-of-town business parks doing so well and forever expaning, and other speculative office developments such as Abbey Mill House and Chatham Place in the pipeline, I'd have thought it would be worth making this scheme at least 50% residential and getting on with that bit first. There is definitely huge demand for more apartments in the town centre.

There are reasons why this scheme has a good chance of eventually turning out something like these drawings. Firstly, the council is massively pro-development and keep pleading with developers to build higher. The scheme will get good public support and no nimby opposition. It's a large site that is totally in the ownership of Sackville (as far as I know). And the location right by the station could hardly be better (Reading has direct links to 300+ stations and only Birmingham New Street is busier outside London). However the council have set a height guide of 25-storey office or 30-storey residential in the belief simply that anything taller would just look silly.. and they're probably right. So Reading won't be competing with the London/Mancs/Brums of this world.. but there is a good chance that this site will eventually house a well-designed co-ordinated cluster of 5 or 6 tall buildings
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READING - I know Reading quite well and agree that the area around the station is a bit crap at the moment but is the ideal place for tall development.

Reading is booming and at the heart of what is often called the British silicon valley (the M4 corridor). The population of reading continues to increase too.

Its also nice to see Slough doing so well.
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