Preston Bus Station RIBA Competition Architect, 20C building planning, Modern Lancashire architecture design

Preston Bus Station Competition

Planning Approval: RIBA Lancashire Architecture Contest – Transport Development in northwest England, UK

post updated 9 September 2023

Preston Bus Station Design Planning

21 Dec 2016

Planning Permission for Preston Bus Station Redevelopment

Design: John Puttick Associates

Lancashire County Council approves application for Youth Zone at Preston Bus Station, for a design that won a RIBA Competition.

Plans for the new building next to Preston Bus Station, which were submitted in August, have now been approved.

The new Youth Zone, which will be situated next to the bus station, will house a wide range of activities for young people including sports, arts and music.

The bus station is owned by Lancashire County Council. Once completed, the new building will be operated by OnSide Youth Zones, a national charity dedicated to providing safe and inspiring facilities for young people to spend their leisure time.

Jennifer Mein, leader of the county council, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve got approval for this exciting project, which will provide a major new space for young people.

“This planning approval is a major step forward for our overall redevelopment plans on the bus station site. There’s a great momentum building on this project, with car park repairs, concourse improvements and now the planning approval for the new Youth Zone.

Architect John Puttick said: “One of our key objectives has been to design a building maximizing available public space in and around the Bus Station to create a major new square for Preston. This supports the civic quality of the project.

“It has also been important to respond to the proudly utilitarian quality of Preston Bus Station by designing a new neighbour that shares and celebrates this robustness just as a youth centre used for sport and as a place for creativity should do.”

Work on the Youth Zone is programmed to start in September 2017, with completion expected in 2018.

17 May 2016

Preston Bus Station Design News

John Puttick Associates Revised Design for Preston Bus Station

The winner of the RIBA competition to create a youth centre at Preston Bus Station has revised his design so it no longer touches the grade II brutalist structure.

Preston Bus Station Design

John Puttick won the competition last year to restore BDP’s neglected 1969 landmark and add a 2,600sq m “youth zone” alongside it.

His winning entry was for a building that stepped down to slot in under the bus station’s projecting tiers.

He has now revealed a new standalone design that will be cheaper, less complex and create a clear distinction between the two buildings. It will also allow the youth sport, art and performance space to be run by an independent operator.

Preston Bus Station building design

John Puttick Associates, which is based in New York and London, worked with the Twentieth Century Society and Historic England on the revised scheme which will preserve the long views down the side of the bus station.

2 Apr 2015 update
RIBA Design Competition for Preston Bus Station

The design and architectural competition for Preston Bus Station has already received interest from across the world, reports Lancashire County Council. There have been over 8,000 unique visits to the bus station competition webpage, from 80 different countries. visits have come from as far afield as Azerbaijan and Venezuela. Already at least 125 architecture practices from 16 different countries have already registered to take part. The design challenge calls for skill and sensitivity in redeveloping a large and very bold Modern building.

25 Feb 2015

Preston Bus Station Design Competition

RIBA Competition for Preston Bus Station

Deadline for first stage entries: 21 Apr, 2pm

Lancashire County Council, in partnership with Preston Youth Zone, is launching an international competition to develop designs for a new youth zone and public space on the site of Preston Bus Station. The competition will be managed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on behalf of the County Council and Youth Zone.

Preston Bus Station building – the key features are the curved, ribbed, concrete facade elements:
Preston Bus Station Building
photograph © Adrian Welch

The plans will lead to an investment of around £13 million in Preston’s iconic bus station, which will see it become a catalyst for regeneration, more appealing to passengers and a home to the new Preston Youth Zone Plus; while preserving the building’s unique and Grade II listed brutalist architecture.

Central to the scheme, Preston Youth Zone will occupy around half of the space on the Holiday Inn side of the building, with a separate sports hall on the apron outside. The Youth Zone will feature an indoor sports hall, outdoor pitches, a climbing wall, fitness suite and areas for music, dance, arts and crafts.

The initial phase of the competition will require architect-led, multi-disciplinary design teams to submit designs anonymously, in digital format only. Five concept designs will then be shortlisted for further development at the second phase. Each shortlisted designer will receive an honorarium of £6,000 + VAT.

The judging panel includes Hugh Broughton, Hugh Broughton Architects, as the RIBA Adviser.

Preston Bus Station building – elevation view from the past:
Preston Bus Station in the past
image from architect

County Councillor Jennifer Mein, Leader of the County Council said: ‘We are delighted to be working alongside the RIBA, who will bring their extensive knowledge and experience of delivering successful competitions of this type.

They will help us to ensure we are able to develop and deliver exciting plans for the bus station itself and the surrounding space. We want to see high-quality ideas coming forward for the bus station, whether they’re from here in Lancashire or from elsewhere.

It is important that we protect the integrity of this listed building, whilst creating an exciting new facility for generations of our young people.’

Preston Bus Station
photograph © Adrian Welch

Hugh Broughton, RIBA Adviser, commented: “This competition provides an inspiring opportunity to bring creativity and vision to a truly significant listed building in ways which will be engaging and entirely relevant to the people of Preston.”

Kathryn Morley, Chief Executive at OnSide Youth Zones said: “This is an incredibly exciting time in the development of Preston Youth Zone. Youth Zones are a response to what young people want in the 21st century; safe, supportive and inspiring spaces where they can spend their leisure time. The building is our starting point to achieve this and so the design is a significant part of the project.”

Please visit the RIBA design competitions website for further details. The closing date for receiving first stage entries is 21 April 2015 by 2pm.

Preston Bus Station interior
photographs © Adrian Welch

Preston Bus Station Design Background

RIBA Competitions
Please ensure RIBA Competitions is credited when mentioning the above competition. RIBA Competitions delivers choice, inspiration and value to clients through expertly run competitive selection processes. The dedicated RIBA Competitions team can help you explore the full potential of your project, for further information visit or email [email protected].

Preston Youth Zone
As an independent charity Preston Youth Zone will be delivered as a result of a powerful combination of public, private and voluntary sector support led by OnSide Youth Zones, a charity dedicated to providing modern youth facilities based on the model of the highly successful and innovative Bolton Lads and Girls Club. Preston Youth Zone will contribute £1m towards the construction costs with Lancashire County Council investing £5m.

Preston Bus Station
Preston Bus Station
photographs © Adrian Welch

Preston Bus Station Competition information from RIBA 25th February 2015

23 Sep 2013

Preston Bus Station News

Preston Bus Station
Architect: Building Design Partnership
Preston Bus Station march – report in the Lancashire Evening Post

Preston Bus Station architect Building Design Partnership – now titled BDP Architects

2 Apr 2015 update
The Architects’ Journal does an April Fool’s joke – reporting that “A Chinese construction company has 3D printed an exact replica of BDP’s iconic Preston Bus Station”.

Preston Bus Station Poll – whether to demolish or redevelop the bus station (link no longer active)

Location: Preston Bus Station, Lancashire, Northwest England, UK

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Website: RIBA Design Competition for Preston Bus Station – news update from LCC

Save Preston Bus Station Campaign – facebook page

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Comments / images for the Preston Bus Station RIBA Design Competition page welcome