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Please rate this building.

Preston Bus Station

13232 Views 54 Replies 35 Participants Last post by  jorgedin
Architect: Keith Ingham (Building Design Partnership)
Year built: 1968-69
Height: Five storeys
Bays: 80
Car parking: 1,100 spaces
Planned demolition: 2010
Firstly, I am aware that Preston Bus Station is not a skyscraper! But it is the most controversial building in Preston (and perhaps Lancashire) and if it were as tall as it is long it would be a skyscraper! And with the bulldozers planned to move in in 2010 to make way for a John Lewis store as part of the £650million Tithebarn Project, I would like to know what other SSC users think of it.
Personally, if it had been built in a more suitable part of the city centre I wouldn't mind it so much, I actually quite like it but the location is all wrong so I won't miss it as the regeneration plans will allow for much more than the bus station ever could!
I did add a poll but for some God awful reason it has not appeared :bash:

Image credits: johnregan & George D Thompson (flickr)
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I think it's gawwgous.
Aww, you should've done a poll. Bloody wicked, a great example of mid 20th century architecture 9/10.
I did add a poll but it said I hadn't done it within five minutes of posting? But I had? If anyone can sort this I'd appreciate it!
I will be dancing on the pile of rubble when they blow it up in the next 2/3 years.
I will be dancing on the pile of rubble when they blow it up in the next 2/3 years.
Yes but you have no taste :naughty:
I'll second that! The bus station is absolutely fantastic, and probably the coolest building in the city by miles. In 50 years time people will be mourning it's passing and the shortsightedness of the people who pulled it down. It, like the original bypass, is a symbol of Preston's strategic location geographically.

Personally, every person who visited me when I lived in Preston was absolutely gobsmacked by the scale of it - I used to take them past it to show off. And there was nothing better when stumbling out of Byron's nightclub (showing me age now) than the sight of the bus station to remind you how much of an insignificant pisshead you really were. I absolutely love the thing.
I love it too and know for sure it will be as much a regret as demolishing the town hall was. It truely is immense and I love it for its modernity - at the time it must have looked incredible! It does signify a past when Preston was a bold forward thinking city at the heart of the north. More than that it symbolises civic pride, progress and optimism - uniqueness too. It is one of the most significant projects of the early BDP which, founded in Preston, is now a major international architecture firm.

Certainly it has its flaws. Many people in Preston don't like to use it as it is accessed only via subways and underpasses that have an uncomfortable atmosphere and reputation. The mistake of those who originally wanted to save it was that they wanted to keep it as an 80 stand bus station which in all fairness is not required. They should have campaigned for it to be modernised, redesigned and even put to a new use. A talented bunch of designers could have identified the best design features of it and retained them, 60's retro is very much in fashion in interiors at the moment, it could have looked stunning. New above ground access could be made and lots of land freed up by only leaving one side of the bus station in use while converting the other to shops. Now it is for the chop.

The worst part about it is that it perhaps one of the most unique buildings in the city and even the country. With a good team of architects it could be incredible - even an attraction - a sign that Preston is a bit quirky, arty, different - cultured even! Instead we are going to get a much more identikit piece of BDP masterplanning. Certainly the Tithebarn Scheme is a much needed investment and will probably benefit the populace more.

But I personally have never believed that it was a case of either or. The council could have instructed the developer to be more creative and work around it, the end result I think would have been better, certainly more exciting and dynamic than the standard urban retail development that is so in vogue now. If a developer wants to spend £600m then chances are they would still be interested even if they had to work round it. You might have to work harder at it but hard work tends to yield the best results.

Anyway, that isn't going to happen, so thank goodness for flickr: Bus station&w=all&s=int

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Interesting picture. At least the bus station didnt replace anything of outstanding beauty. Just apparent wasteland, terraced housing, and the old Ribble bus station.

I have to admit, it would be very interesting to see how a refurbishment of the existing station would turn out, because it is an impressive size.
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Yes but you have no taste :naughty:

I love the carbunkleness of the this edifice. It gets a 9/10 from me!
I like it more than I used to. It's grows on me the more I see it and it'll be kind of sad to see it go as it still looks fairly modern compared to other bus stations built in the same time period.
I think if it was refurbished (which sadly it won't be) it could look brilliant.
The only thing I don't like about it is it's to bludy long. Feel sorry for the unfortunate people who have to hike all the way to the end with loads of bags to catch a coach.
I kinda like it too. If it had a better setting (i.e. pedestrian approach was better, linked into town better) it would be worth keeping.

It is an interesting building, although huge, and I guess a decent use of space, but I can see why people don't like it, and how it cuts a swathe of town off.

Interesting that BDP designed it, and now its replacement!
As a former regular user, I would not be sorry to see it go from the perspective of the awful interior and pedestrian access. Even now, if I've caught the bus into town, I tend to take my chance and cross the bus apron rather than use the grubby subways!

The main issue with the bus station is demolish or refurbish. I suspect that demolish really is the cheaper option. The inside is pretty much as it was when built apart from upgrades to a handful of the Preston Bus bays. It would really need total gutting out and starting over. Ideally, the car park access cores would also have to be stripped out to give more attractive access and bigger lift spaces, including access to the lifts on all floors (not possible currently if I recall). And then, what do you do with the interior? The sheer volume of space is really enormous!
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The interior has some really cool features but on the whole is full of dross. The bus stands are very dated and IMO unecessary clutter. A lot of the shops and stuff in the middle could probably be removed and the cores expanded to accommodate better access. The gound floor is actually a large double height space with quite a lot of light, the structure is esentially very simple and I think it would have plenty of flexibility. I have always thought that the town centre side could be partitioned into retail/liesure spaces, perhaps with a mezzanine floor. The other side could remain a bus station, keep the black rubber floor and white tiles, stick with the monocrome theme and have some cool lights and art, replace the seeting with cool retro 60's white plastic benches or something and you have the beginnings of a winner. The car parking floors could be kept as such but I always think the top floor would be great as a gallery or design centre for the uni or something, taking advantage of the superb views and amount of space. To break up the length you could install travellators.

To be honest the design isn't totally unsuitable for the modern day, it just has some outdated features and ideas, such as the segregated pedestrian access. It is certainly too big for what it needs to be and it has lots of unecessry clutter in it that could be removed leaving what is essentially a very simple, well lit, double height, flexible space. This sort of quirky development has been made fashionable by the likes of urban splash and are now very much in fashion. More than ever I think cities are turning to their historic landmarks to give them identity.

Its a real shame nobody saw beyond it as a bus station.
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this is quite possibly one of my favourite buildings in the whole of the country. i am that rare breed who has a soft spot for 20th century brutalism. but i hate that description because brutal this aint! it's a shame and a crime to think that this is going to be demolished. i've actually sat outside staring at it's long slender lines for ages. if this building was a woman i'd want nothing more than to lye on top and give it one!! it's an abstract work of art that points to a distant advanced future of perfection.

i know it's location so far away from town and the train station hasn't helped it's cause, but if only it could be given a lick of paint, re-designed slightly and preserved. does it really have to be demolished and replaced by another sterile shopping centre? i'm sure the preston council have pulled the wool over your eyes and told you it's demolition is in the name of regeneration, costs and it being an eye sore, etc. beurocratic bollocks!! they want a lewis's there because of the profits to be made and quite obviously that bus station makes very little in revenue. i'm sure the shops could be built on the upper terraces? just don't trust councils, they'll build housing estates and shops on any piece of land they can get their grubby mitts on!

the prestonians must try anything to save it!! afterall there's very little of this type of architecture left in the country (some would say that's a great thing). i'm from birmingham and have gone out of my way to visit preston just to see this building. i won't be visiting to see the spewis's once it's built.

well, i'm sure it'll be missed once it's gone and replaced by yet another glass, plastic and steel americanised shopping mall. one thing for sure -- i'll be there in 2010, chaining myself to the nearest JCB!!
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this is functional building at its best! it reminds me of an airport terminal but where people go is replaced by cars. awesome
If they knock that down they'll regret it in a few years. A classic of it's type. 10.
9/10 from me - almost tempts me tovisit Preston.

For those that take any interest in brutalism and modernism-Is there any building form this period with good pedenstrain access?
9/10 fantastic to pull this down would be a disgrace must be one of the best examples of this architecture in the world and to lose it would be such a shame as in a few years time a building like this will be looked at as one of the country few remaining building of this type and achieve listing status, ect
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