Preston Bus Station
We love Preston bus station! We have entered this competition because we hold it so close to our hearts. Because of this, we have formed the most delicate of interfaces to the listed building – none! We don’t visually touch the exterior of the listed station and form a new ‘street’ between the brutalist structure and our new development. The new ‘street’ means that the North West end of the concourse does not block public movement in the area and gives the necessary separation to the iconic station. The differing functions of the project, split by the new ‘street’, locate the Youth Zone entrance, recreation area, café and activity spaces within the existing station. An underground walkway, top lit with glass planks, links to the more physical indoor and outdoor activities, which are served within a 4 storey atrium. The ‘Plus Partners’ facilities are also located within the new development, served by a separate corner entrance at the other end of the new bridge link to Tithebarn Street.
The new building has been positioned to maintain and maximise views of the existing station, especially from Old Vicarage (street) and Lord Street – the main routes from the city centre. A further new access route is positioned at the end of the new football pitch which links through the central axis of the St John’s Shopping Centre. By setting the external facilities 3m lower than the public concourse level, we will not need to use high mesh fencing that would visually form a barrier as the balustrade will suffice. By use of innovative level differences, we can break down the usual barriers and create an integrated community facility, set within an important public area.
The new development utilises bronze cladding to create a shiny beacon set against the backdrop of the matt concrete of the bus station. A jewel-like building that is unashamedly ambitious for the next generation of Preston. The cladding is broken down in areas to form vertical louvers that give a degree of privacy whilst also acting as a security measure. The entire schedule of accommodation has been provided in an efficient layout that maximises use of the existing station whilst minimising new development to the southern apron.