Revised design gives more space to Preston Bus Station

The winner of the RIBA competition to create a youth centre at Preston Bus Station has revised his design so it no longer touches the grade II brutalist structure.

John Puttick, a former Make partner, won the competition last year to restore BDP’s neglected 1969 landmark and add a 2,600sq m “youth zone” alongside it.

His winning entry was for a building that stepped down to slot in under the bus station’s projecting tiers.

Now he has revealed a new standalone design that will be cheaper, less complex and create a clear distinction between the two buildings. It will also allow the youth sport, art and performance space to be run by an independent operator.

John Puttick Associates, which is based in New York and London, worked with the Twentieth Century Society and Historic England on the revised scheme which will preserve the long views down the side of the bus station.

Puttick said: “One of our key objectives has been to design a building maximising available public space in and around the bus station to create a major new square for Preston. This supports the civic quality of the project.

“It has also been important to respond to the proudly utilitarian quality of Preston Bus Station by designing a new neighbour that shares and celebrates this robustness.”

In plan, the youth zone’s relationship to the bus station is in keeping with the original BDP strategy of a family of satellite structures including the vehicular ramps and taxi rank which read as a sequence of sculptural objects adjacent to the main building, he said.

John Puttick Associates is also designing the overall refurbishment of the bus station. Puttick said this would involve a careful restoration of existing elements many of which are in good condition but compromised by visual clutter in the building.

In order to reinstate the powerful original design, the practice will pare down the interior, return features to their original colour palette and reintroduce the Helvetica typeface for signage, he said. A main entrance hall will be created to give spatial coherence to the building, improving a sense of orientation and flow.



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BDC 317 : Jun 2024