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Preston Bus Station public space

public buildings

A new public space has been completed along the western side of Brutalist landmark Preston Bus Station.

It marks the final stage of award-winning restoration works by architect John Puttick Associates. Refurbishment of the Grade II-listed building itself, completed in 2018, included reconfiguration of bus stands and traffic movements around the 170m-long bus station. Buses now only park along the eastern side, while the western apron has been transformed into a large public space.

A key aim of the landscaping project was to dramatically improve connectivity between the bus station and city centre. Prior to 2018, access was largely via a dingy underpass; today pedestrians can reach the building at street level, via multiple pedestrian-priority crossing points. 

The scheme includes extensive planting as well as seating elements inspired by the iroko benches inside the bus station. As well as improving views of the iconic structure, the public space can also be used for events and activities.

The bus station was originally completed in 1969 and was designed by BDP with Ove Arup. After being threatened with demolition, it was eventually listed and saved. In 2021, John Puttick Associates was awarded the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize for its sensitive restoration work, which has also been recognised by the RIBA and the Civic Trust.