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    Preston bus station: “treasured location” marked for demolition?

    Preston bus station was opened in 1969, and back then it was the largest bus station in Europe. Due to its innovative architectural design and concrete construction, it is still regarded today as an innovative “treasured location”. Even though it may look unremarkable compared to a lot of today’s cityscapes, it broke a lot of barriers back in the day, and many of Preston’s inhabitants regard it with warmth and compassion (excitement is possibly too strong a term), like an old familiar friend.

    However, all is not well on the buses in Preston. Preston City Council have marked the building for demolition in their latest plans for city centre redevelopment. This is seen as a grave concern, a feeling shared by many around the world. The World Monument Fund has marked the bus station as a heritage site, and a “treasured place at risk” — one of 67 new locations recently added to the list. They see it as a prime example of British “Brutalism”, an architectural style characterised by concrete forms, and stark repetitive angular geometry.

    They also argue that the building is still perfectly useful and functional, and will stand the test of time better than a lot of modern lightweight architecture. Those in favour of its demolition say that Preston needs to move with the times, and modernise to attract growth.

    What do you think? Architectural treasure or outdated relic?

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