Beautiful and Brutal: 50 Years in the life of Preston Bus Station

Photograph of Preston Bus Station courtesy of BPP

21 September - 24 November 2019
Preston Bus Station is an internationally important piece of architecture that was built for everyday use by the people of Preston.

Photograph of bus station car park ramp ©LEP

Now in its 50th year, Charles Quick, artist and co-curator of
In Certain Places, is collaborating with the Harris to re-present and reveal Preston Bus Station through archives, collections, artists' commissions and interventions, which will permeate spaces throughout the Harris.

Built in 1969 by BDP, Preston Bus Station was the largest in Europe – a space-age structure built in the same year as the moon landing. Its strong architectural presence has inspired a wealth of artists, filmmakers and photographers, including Shezad Dawood and Nathaniel Mellors.

Existing work will feature alongside new contemporary art commissions by LOW PROFILE and Keith Harrison to reveal aspects of the architecture on site and in the Harris. LOW PROFILE will explore the role of people in the building's identity through a large-scale artwork. Keith Harrison, known for his sculptural and audio work, will be creating original pieces as part of the project.


Photograph of Preston Bus Station courtesy of BDP ©Roger Park


Preston Bus Station was saved from demolition after a 13 year campaign initiated by the people of Preston and is now Grade II listed. It has been revitalised through an extensive restoration programme by Lancashire County Council and John Puttick architects, which will be completed later this year. Its beautiful and brutal form has regained its former glory – loved by many and loathed by some. Whatever your opinion it is one of Preston's most distinctive pieces of architecture and is a place where the daily transactions of the city take place.

A complimentary events programme at Preston Bus Station and the Harris will include films, talks, tours and workshops to contextualise the social architecture of the building and its role in the city.

 20 July - Bus-themed summer Saturday on the Flag Market with vintage buses and fun creative activity in the Harris.

19 October - Preston Bus Station's 50th Birthday Party.

Full details coming soon.  

We'd love to hear from anyone with a connection to the building. Perhaps you were involved in the construction and have photographs – or even objects (hardhats, tools, work gear) – that could be exhibited?
Please contact James Arnold, History Curator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 01772 905406



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