Beautiful and Brutal – The Conference


Beautiful and Brutal: 50 years in the life of Preston Bus Station
Saturday 9th November 10.00 – 16.00
Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library

An interdisciplinary conference that examined the impact of this internationally significant piece of architecture built for everyday use by the people of Preston, and discussed its role within the wider context of urban design and the development of cities in the 21st Century.

The conference programme included:

Chris Harding, Chair, BDP
John Puttick, architect, John Puttick Associates – ‘The Restoration of a Brutalist Icon’
Sally Stone, Reader, Manchester School of Architecture – ‘The Campaign To Save A Bus Station’
Dr Christina Malathouni, University of Liverpool – ‘The Listing Story’
Professor Charles Quick, In Certain Places – ‘Brutalist Architecture and the Arts’
Professor Adrian Friend, University of Central Lancashire – ‘Why The Curves?’
James Arnold History Curator, Harris Museum and Art Gallery – ‘Building Connections’
Lee Ivett, Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture, University of Central Lancashire
Ann Vanner, President, North Lancashire Society of Architects

2019 marks the 50th year of Preston Bus Station, an internationally significant piece of architecture built for everyday use by the people of Preston. It was saved from demolition after a 13 year campaigninitiated by said people of Preston, resulting in Grade II listing. Recently revitalised through an extensive restoration programme by Lancashire County Council and John Puttick Associates, its beautiful and brutal form has regained its former glory – loved by many and loathed by some.

How did a brutalist building in a northern town inspire so many people to fight to save it from demolition?

Built in 1969 by  British Design Partnership (BDP), Preston Bus Station was the largest in Europe, a space-age structure created the same year the moon landing took place. Its strong architectural presence has inspired a wealth of artists, filmmakers and photographers and it continues to play a significant part in the development and creative life of the city.

Conference Sponsor                                                                                                                             with thanks to Lady Grenfell-Baines

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