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Preston Bus Station refurbishment wins architecture award

Posted on - 12th May, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Redevelopment
Inside the refurbished Preston Bus Station Pic: Tony Worrall
Inside the refurbished Preston Bus Station Pic: Tony Worrall

The restoration and refurbishment of Preston Bus Station has been recognised as award-winning.

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Grade-II listed the multi-million pound scheme at the building has been given an award.

The Royal Institute of British Architects has picked its regional winners for the North West.

John Puttich Associates, and Cassidy+Ashton, were given the award at the ceremony on Wednesday (8 May).

A second award was also handed to the Bus Station scheme, scooping the Conservation Award for its £11.4million refurbishment.

Read more: Tithebarn Street closure as Bus Station western apron work continues

And Client of the Year was given to Lancashire County Council

The Bus Station has seen millions of pounds spent on a restoration project Pic: Tony Worrall
The Bus Station has seen millions of pounds spent on a restoration project Pic: Tony Worrall

Here’s what the judges had to say about the work at the Bus Station:

“An apparently subtle restoration belies a significant organisational shift at this listed and iconic Preston bus station.

“Shifting all busstands to one side instead of both, relocating the coach station, providing an information hub and rationalising retail units has reinstated a legibility and reinforced the purpose of the building.

“These considered interventions have improved the flow of buses and allowed for a large area of public realm to be formed without diminishing capacity or functionality.

“Significant but barely visible interventions include the complete replacement of the failing aluminium curtain wall system to increase its strength and resistance to wind load with a marginal increase in depth.

“The original timber sliding doors to the apron, which were rotten and too heavy to close and open have been changed to aluminium in the exact pattern and scale of the originals. This allowsthe bus station a functionality intended at the original build that could not be delivered at the time.The need for the relatively new skill set required for refurbishment of listed mid 20th century buildings is on the increase as elements of such buildings fail, and their functionality wanes.

“This restoration has identified ways in which to resolve failures of fabric, and design details such as the heavy sliding wood framed doors and identified new technical responses that retain the architectural aesthetics and intent of the original.

“The design team at Preston have delivered an outstanding, exemplary conservation project, one of minimal intervention, care, attention to detail and most importantly a viable building with a long future of use.In a project that reveals itself the more you look, the interior has been decluttered, and the original intent of the building sightlines and scale have been reasserted.

“Signage fits to the tiled wall grid perfectly, the concrete that is cleaned just enough, the newconcrete bike stands and the re-used iroko barriers that are now seating and frames to the information kiosks. Each of these small details are what makes this project sing as a conservation work.The main sustainability dimension of Preston Bus Station is the retention of the building itself, as the embodied energy of this very large, iconic concrete building has not been squandered.

“Its ongoing role as the major public transport hub of the city is enhanced by attention to simple functional details in this unheated building such as the improvement to auto-operation of all access doors to increase passenger comfort and accessibility. Retying the building to the town centre via the new ground level piazza is also very important in removing barriers to access.

“The client and design team has addressed the integrity and durability of the structure which has been carefully restored. All these factors will ensure the longer-term sustainability of the building in both functional, technical and economic terms. With a stand out client team and clear engagement with conservation officers and the twentieth century society, the jury believe the project is an exemplary restoration and reworking of a mid-century building.”

Read more: From Brutalist dream to council battleground, 50 years of the Bus Station

RIBA’s North West interim regional director Tom Mills said: “This year’s jury was presented with an eclectic range of building types and site responses, two of which were on the Isle of Man. All of the buildings demonstrated the wealth of architectural talent in our region; and I’m so glad to see several regionally-based practices triumph.

“It is especially pleasing to see that the refurbishment of Preston Bus Station has received three Regional Awards through a collaborative architectural approach. The architect’s subtle, sophisticated and sustainable response to the conservation of this landmark building has ensured that a key Northern transport hub will remain in use for many more years to come.“

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