Preston Bus Station

May 13, 2011 Filed under: 1960s, Transport by Sanna Fisher-Payne 53 comments

Placed 2nd in the Placebook vote of favourite buildings by BDP
Owen Hatherley writer and journalist finds Preston Bus Station a masterpiece

Designed under BDP’s most famous partner, Keith Ingham, Preston Bus Station is part of one of those classically 1960s attempts to redevelop a town through the remaking of its circulation into walkways, underpasses and towers, with people separated from cars. The two towers create a distinctive, vigorous skyline, but the Bus Station is the masterpiece. From a distance and even up close, its glorious sweep is so simple, so confident, so right, that only a churlish antimodernist could fail to be seduced by it. Inside, matters are a little different – original signage battles with recent tat, and a clean is direly in order, but the aim to make such a mundane function into something special is still vividly palpable. Although there are proposals to demolish, rather sadly with BDPs own involvement, the Bus Station is held in encouraging public esteem – it recently won a local newspaper poll for the best building in Preston. Which it is.

Owen Hatherley is a freelance writer, working regularly for the New Statesman and The Wire, He writes about architecture, urbanism, politics and culture. His second book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain was published by Verso in 2010. He also his own blog