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Preston Bus Station winning design branded a disgrace by architecture critic

Posted on - 24th August, 2015 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - News, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre
Preston Bus Station design 5

The winning design for the Bus Station

A leading architecture critic has launched an attack on the new design for Preston Bus Station.

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Oliver Wainwright, writing in The Guardian, has likened the £13 million Preston Youth Zone building as being like a “gigantic fridge-freezer”.

The winning design in the competition to design the building for young people in the city was won by New York architects John Puttick.

Lancashire County Council saw 93 entries from across the world to work on the scheme to restore the grade II listed Bus Station.

Mr Wainwright, who is clearly a fan of the Bus Station’s brutalist curves, writes: “Soon it will be a temple with a lumpen add-on, the Parthenon of buses with a bulky life-support machine plugged in.

“Crashing into the north-western end of the structure, the new building appears plucked from a complete different context, as though it’s found itself here by mistake. Half trying to merge with the existing building, half trying to exert itself as a freestanding object, it squats awkwardly alongside the station, managing to obscure a good chunk of it in the process.”

Preston Bus Station is to have a Youth Zone built across the Western apron

Preston Bus Station is to have a Youth Zone built across the Western apron

The Bus Station was bought by the county council from Preston City Council in September last year for £1.

It followed an initial plan from the city council to demolish the building, but heritage campaigners battled to list the building at a third attempt.

This rendered the city council’s plans impotent and they sold off the building and land to the county council, who promised to inject £23 million in the building.

Announcing the winning design, which also won the public vote, leader of the county council Jennifer Mein, said: ““We’re delighted that a strong design has been chosen for the new Youth Zone Plus and we’ll now be working hard to get it built.

“This is a significant investment in one of Preston’s most well-known buildings, which will bring exciting new facilities for our young people, for this generation and for future ones.”

Architect John Puttick said: “The three components of the project – the revitalisation of the modernist bus station, the new OnSide Youth Zone, and a large outdoor public space – offer a rich mixture of uses and the challenge of sensitively introducing contemporary design to the existing setting.

“We are delighted to have been selected as the winners of the competition and are excited to develop the design with the client and stakeholders. We hope to play a game of football on the roof once the project is complete.”

What do you think of Oliver Wainwright’s comments? Was the winning design your favourite? Let us know in the comments below

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