Metal Boxed in





Long standing residents of Reading will know the building in the foreground here as  as Metal Box. It’s the odd shaped block in front of it’s new neighbour One Reading Central (ORC), home to Yell.

Metal Box was the first company to use it and locally the name stuck.

A plan was hatched to get rid of it, but it has only partially happened.

First was build ORC, then another the other side of Metal Box, then knock Metal Box down for a third.

With ORC not full, the next phases look miles away. What remains is this remarkable 60s/70s attempt to look futuristic, now crumbling and overshadowed.

While English Heritage (EH) lists untold ludicrous buildings, this incredible structure has fallen below its radar. Whether it’s kept now doesn’t really matter, it’s overawed by ORC, Reading’s biggest office, and can enjoy little by way of a view.

Next time EH lists a daft shopping centre (such as it did in Milton Keynes) or drab office tower (Centre Point in London) so its publicly-funded busybodies can make work for themselves, remember Metal Box. It looks set to decay further before going the way of Wembley’s twin towers – two other buildings EH let slip.




About Alan Bunce

Freelance journalist Former Community Editor with the Reading Post. Former Business Editor with the Reading Chronicle.
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