‘Beautiful and Brutal’ exhibition to celebrate 50 years of Preston Bus Station

Posted on - 17th September, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Preston Bus Station, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Preston Bus Station Pic: Tony Worrall
Preston Bus Station Pic: Tony Worrall

A new exhibition at the Harris will celebrate 50 years of Preston Bus Station and explore what it means to the people of Preston.


Beautiful and Brutal: 50 years in the life of Preston Bus Station has been created by the Harris and In Certain Places to recognise the internationally important piece of architecture.

Designed by local architects Building Design Partnership in 1969, Preston Bus Station was part of an ambitious vision of Preston’s future as the major transport hub for Lancashire.

It was the largest bus station in Europe, built in the same year as the moon landing, and with 80 bus bays and space for 1,000 cars.

Architects Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson were involved in every aspect of its design, from the concrete curves softening its rugged modular form, to its unique Pirelli rubber floor and airport-style signage.

After being saved from demolition, Preston Bus Station became Grade II listed and has since been the subject of an extensive restoration programme that will be completed later this year.

Read more: Watch as Preston Bus Station plays host to unique performance of Conductor

A spokesperson for the Harris said: “Its beautiful and brutal form has regained its former glory – loved by many and loathed by some. Whatever your opinion, it is one of Preston’s most distinctive pieces of architecture and is a place where the daily transactions of the city take place.”

The exhibition will feature films, literature, and objects associated with the building and the people who use it, plus archival material including previously unseen designs from the BDP archives.

New contemporary art commissions by LOW PROFILE and Keith Harrison will reveal aspects of the architecture on site and in the Harris. Film maker Anna Raczynski will record interviews mapping people’s memories and opinions from across the city and further afield.

Councillor Peter Kelly, cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “We are delighted to announce the Beautiful and Brutal: 50 years in the life of Preston Bus Station will be opened by the Mayor of Preston on Friday 20 September.

“The Harris, working in collaboration with In Certain Places have curated an exciting exhibition that focuses on one of Preston’s most iconic buildings, and is definitely not to be missed.”

Read more: Slow down and relax as the Harris launches new wellbeing gallery and workshops

A complementary events programme at Preston Bus Station and the Harris will include films, talks, tours and workshops. 

The free exhibition runs from Saturday 21 September to Sunday 24 November. The opening event is open to all and will take place on Friday 20 September from 6pm to 8pm.

Read moreSee what’s on in Preston

Will you be going to the exhibition? Let us know in the comments below.

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