The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Top Preservation Award for Preston Bus Station

Photo: © Gareth Gardner

The Twentieth Century Society is delighted that the successful refurbishment of the 1960s’ brutalist Preston Bus Station has been recognised with the awarding of the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize.

John Puttick Associates consulted closely with the C20 Society on the restoration work, reinstating the original design by removing visual clutter and returning features to their original material and colour palette. A new entrance sequence was created by turning what were bus stands into a public square and consolidating the entrances so people arriving on foot have a safer and more pleasant experience.

Just 10 years ago the bus station was headed for demolition to make way for the Tithebarn shopping development.  After a long fight by local campaigners and the C20 Society (which made three listing applications and successfully proposed it for inclusion on the World Monuments Fund Watch) the bus station was finally listed at Grade II in 2013.

Designed by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson of Building Design Partnership, with engineers Ove Arup and Partners, Preston Bus Station’s vast 170-metre-long concrete structure (1968-69) made it the largest bus station in Europe.

On December 9th, we’ll be hosting an online talk covering it’s history, the successful listing campaign and  recent restoration. The event will be led by former C20 caseworker Dr Christina Malathouni, with project architect John Puttick joining as a very special guest.

Tickets for ‘Preston Bus Station: From Controversy to Celebration’ are available to book for members and non-members at the link below:

© Gareth Gardner

Its distinctive curved fins have turned it into a beacon for the brutalist movement, with its scale and grandeur representative of an era when British architects were given the creative scope to produce grand works of public architecture.

Catherine Croft said: “This is an iconic structure of great architectural merit which has been preserved to benefit future generations and it’s wonderful news that its success has been recognised in this way.”

The biennial prize, which recognises architects, designers, and preservationists who have demonstrated innovative solutions to preserve or save threatened modern architecture, will be presented during a ceremony at AIA New York, Center for Architecture in New York City, on December 14, 2021.