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Preston Bus Station Celebrates 50 Years

An exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of Preston Bus Station will take place at the city’s Harris Museum, Art Gallery & Library, along with a programme of events to celebrate the iconic building.

The bus station and car park opened in 1969 as the major transport hub for Lancashire and at the time it was the largest bus station in Europe. BDP was involved in every aspect of its design, from the delicate concrete curves which shelter passengers and soften its rugged modular form, to its unique Pirelli rubber floor and airport-style signage.

The building achieved Grade II listed status in 2013 after two previous bids had failed, and its beautiful and brutal form was recently revitalised through an extensive restoration programme by John Puttick Associates for Lancashire County Council.

The exhibition presents a complete picture and will bring together previously unseen designs from BDP’s archives with new contemporary art commissions, literature and objects associated with the building. There will also be a film featuring an interview with BDP chair Chris Harding amongst others.

Architectural writer and historian Tom Dyckhoff said, "I think architecture is at its most meaningful and heroic when it celebrates like this the seemingly ordinary and everyday bits of time that connect us all."

The exhibition is being supported by the University of Central Lancashire and runs from 21 September to 24 November. A complimentary events programme will include films, talks, tours and workshops to contextualise the social architecture of the building and its role in the city.

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