Youth Zone, Preston Bus Station Preston 2015–

Next to the 1969 Grade II listed Brutalist bus station the “youth centre” is a playful, informal and adaptable 4-storey structure. Each floor is a unique realm, spatially distinct from the others. It is a social building designed for children, teenagers and young adults. Inside, the decks are designed for flexibility. Beneath the coffered concrete soffit of each, lightweight timber faced partitions can be reconfigured to adapt to changing needs.

Image 1

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    We seek to emulate the wonder of the bus station which was designed to glamorise this mode of transport much like the airports of the same period
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    Much of the perimeter of the new youth centre is glazed but sheltered from the elements by a continuous veranda
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    The west apron was once full of buses. In its new guise this public space it is revitalised by kiosks within the bus station and the festive life spilling out of it and the new youth centre
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    Ground floor foyer and café in the youth centre frame a pedestrian route between bus station and city centre
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    The 1st floor is organised around a cruciform concourse framing views north, south, east and west, generous enough to accommodate activity itself, around which workshops, meeting, and office spaces are planned
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    Circulation on the 2nd floor is orientated to the west, above the roofline, overlooking the city centre, more lounge than corridor, designed to absorb the overflow of people using these larger arts and sports spaces
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    The sports hall is located on the top deck in a lightweight large-span structure. Outside the terrace overlooks the city
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    A replica arch - recalling an old Preston tradition to make such things each year - serves as a proscenium
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    The 170m long frontage of kiosks, cafes and workshops within bus station activates the public space and arcade (below the parking decks) orientated towards the city centre and afternoon sun
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    Concourse within the bus station
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    The public realm with its partially submerged MUGA and the skatepark is otherwise reprogrammable for markets, fairs and concerts, uncluttered by street furniture or planting
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    Section through new youth centre (left) and bus station (right)
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    Plans of the youth centre, clockwise from top left – ground, first, second and third floors


  • Appointment: 2015
  • Client: Lancashire County Council
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