Preston leads the way

Alan Clawley reports on a Brutalist success story.

What do Preston and Birmingham have in common? They are both cities that are run by councillors who wanted to demolish their most important 1970s modernist building – Preston’s bus station and Birmingham’s Central library.

But the people of Preston decided that they liked their bus station and persuaded the government to list it. The result of an architectural competition for its conversion to a youth centre has just been announced. More than 125 architects from 25 different countries took part and the scheme by a New York practice, John Puttick, was confirmed as the winner by the public and readers of the Architects’ Journal.

The AJ also reports that £23 million will now be pumped into revamping the iconic bus station to make it “more appealing to passengers” as well as becoming home to the new Preston Youth Zone Plus.

Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “We always knew that the bus station had global appeal, and the fact that the winning firm comes from New York reinforces this.”.

Pic: The author