The main focus within the complexity of the new intervention around Preston Bus Station is to re-enhance it as an iconic landmark and key role-player in the urban dynamics of the city. Therefore, the proposal for the whole site, whilst introducing a strong new image for the site, derives from a very simple gesture that doesn’t harm the existing building.
The first step is the demarcation of an area that encompasses the Bus Station. It acts as an urban platform, emphasizing its importance as an essential public feature in Preston. Also, it delimits a distinct new pavement in the city landscape, absorbing sidewalks and also car lanes, communicating a unique quality to that area, where people can not only commute, but also meet and stay.
This platform is also the base element for our volumetric strategy. By cutting out and lifting up corners on opposite ends of the western apron of the Bus Station, new facades are created, that open up to the city and, at the same time, hide themselves from the view of the existing building, never touching it. The resulting triangular shapes allow for smooth transitions and balanced relationships between the elements of the composition. Being asymmetrical and having different heights, they meet the need for a larger, iconic new facility on the north end, but also for a smaller but essential marking on the south end, a new beacon for the people coming from the city centre through Lord Street. Also, the two buildings become the limits of a distinct plaza, a kind of canyon that widens up to the Bus Station, always allowing for a full view of its iconic façade. To the outside of the site, the plaza relates to St. John’s Centre’s main entrance and allows the flow from the existing park between Old Vicarage and Lord Street, strengthening its relationship with the Guild Hall and the other urban highlights at the other end of the park.
Location: Preston, England
Client: Lancashire County Council
Size: Approx. 10.000 sqm
Status: Competition, settled