April 16th, 2013
The Gate 81 project hacklab/workshop/charette has been arranged for May 2013.
Link: Gate 81 Hacklab
Email for firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking part.
February 18th, 2013
“…I would say that even in historic times documents are not always available, and buildings (monuments, vernacular constructions and public works) are themselves important texts, often providing the first and most lasting impression of a culture.”*
The voids in the urban landscape, which are created by virtue of the enclosing nature of the surrounding buildings, have great value. These gaps, spaces or holes are important, for it is these that are occupied, that the visitor or resident will visit, pass through or inhabit. The structures that surround these squares contribute to the quality of the environment. Many buildings are deformed to accommodate the purity of the square, however some can exist as pure elements even within a complex system of buildings and voids. Ideal forms can exist as fragments, and can be viewed as mere collaborative elements to be“collaged” into an urban environment, and thus, rather than exist exclusively as landmarks, can contribute to the composition of the city.
In December 2012 Preston City Council voted ‘in principle’ to demolish Preston Bus Station and replace it with a surface car park. This building is a major cultural landmark and it should be preserved and creatively adapted to serve the city. It could act as a key building and public space to make Preston accessible and temper the decay that is affecting our city, and so many other city centres across the UK.
We will explore the nature of the fragment within an historic city, we will bring the Bus Station to Antwerp, it will occupy a definite place within the urban environment, it will:
INTERRUPT the city
December 16th, 2012
October 13th, 2011
In the spirit of the Collage City Unité/Uffizi comparison: Piazza San Marco transformed into Preston Bus Station.
May 2nd, 2011
August 3rd, 2009
Preston Bus Station is one of those modernist structures that condemned the pedestrian to the bridge or subway giving the surrounding ground plane or ‘apron’ to vehicles i.e. buses. The people of Preston are characterised by their disdain for motorised traffic and inevitably a number of people have been killed in the past forty years crossing the apron as buses reversed out of one of the eighty (yes eighty!) bus stands. The building has been neglected and unsecured throughout it’s existence and the bus drivers have resorted to improvisation in dealing with various antisocial problems. It is a routine procedure to position a double-decker bus to break the fall of a determined jumper (or attention seeker, see picture below).
Suddenly a revolution. For some unknown reason (perhaps prompted by threats under safety or DDA legislation?) the council have installed substantial, simple and useful temporary crossing points allowing pedestrians an easy route from the bus to the markets. Buses stop at zebra crossings, families amble across in the summer sunshine.
The alterations bode well for the continued survival of the building, due for demolition to make way for the always delayed Tithebarn town centre redevelopment (our Liverpool One). Listing has been refused once by EH but I believe the C20 Society are trying again. The temporary interventions, introducing discipline and civility to the environs of the building provide a simple vision of the ground plane reclaimed and the possibility of a rethinking of the building based on it’s relationship to public space.
February 5th, 2008
Something for transport/concrete enthusiasts: a set of discarded slides of Preston Bus Station during construction and soon after. The building is of course “about to be demolished” - perhaps the architects (BDP Preston) expected a forty year lifespan? What an extraordinary building though, photographed with extras borrowed from Get Carter. Thanks to Richard Brook for the tip-off.
October 1st, 2007
Today’s Guardian arts supplement includes a Jonathan Glancey tribute to Preston Bus Station. Much too late to have any effect we fear. According to a recent item in the Lancashire Evening Post the building will be ‘half-demolished’ while a new station is built in an equally inconvenient place. Given Preston’s ability to wilfully destroy historic fabric we have visions of the town in 2020 with a half-demolished, empty bus station structure occupying one corner of a still undeveloped city centre site.
The listed buildings of the future (see comments below the post)
June 29th, 2006
Another minute in the death of Preston Bus Station, soon to be demolished. The use of analogue and digital time displays was a compromise of the late ’sixties and early ’seventies as people got used to decimalization and the 24 hour clock. The clock face was easier to read at a distance while the digital display could be compared with the advertised times of buses. The overhead double clocks, now broken, provided a continuing education in 24 hour notation. As schoolchildren we looked at the double display and wondered which time to believe and follow. Occasionally we experienced the freezing of time, digital and analogue, as the power was cut during the “Three Day Week”.
Clock picture by “eat at joes”