John Puttick Associates have been chosen, in the architectural competition run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), to give Preston’s iconic bus station and new Youth Zone Plus in the UK.
Preston Bus Station, the largest in Europe when it was completed in 1969 designed by Preston architectural practice BDP, it was also to serve the long distance services that would be made possible by the opening of the M6, the first motorway in Britain, which gave Preston a unique place in coach travel.
The building itself consists of a 4,250 m² double height ground floor, including a 1100 m2 mezzanine floor, with 9 levels of car parking above. In total the building provides for 1150 cars, however for the purposes of this design competition the 9 levels of parking and the associated access ramps are out of scope. The £13 million renovation is part of a broader scheme to transform the wider area into an energetic part of the city.
John Puttick, the architect behind the chosen design, said: “The Preston Bus Station development is an important opportunity to create a destination that makes a genuine difference for both visitors and the local community. The three components of the project – the revitalisation of the modernist bus station, the new OnSide Youth Zone, and a large outdoor public space – offers a rich mixture of uses and the challenge of sensitively introducing contemporary design to the existing setting.”
The winning design weaves the old with the new, with the curved face of the nearby Youth Zone mirroring the original building’s distinct curved edges. Once renovated, Preston’s key transport hub is sure to become an exciting social one too. Works are expected to start later this year.
They faced stiff competition from a shortlist that included UK firms Cassidy + Ashton, Letts Wheeler Architects, Igor Russo with Flanagan Lawrence Architects and French practice Sane Architecture, but it was the American entrants who got the seal of approval from both the RIBA judges and the people of Preston.