Richard Rogers has become the latest high profile figure to back the campaign to save Preston bus station from demolition
In a letter to English Heritage, the Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners-founder described the BDP-designed Brutalist bus station as ‘an outstanding piece of 20th century architecture’.
He backed calls for the bus station to be listed and for the station to undergo a much-needed renovation.
Rogers wrote: ‘[Preston bus station] is truly a major modern building and an outstanding piece of 20th century architecture. Preston bus station is not only admired internationally, but it also continues to be fully functioning. It is a critical transport hub. I would encourage you to consider listing the bus station and support a much needed refurbishment.’
The fate of the 1969 Brutalist structure has been in doubt since 2000 when Preston Council came out in favour of the £700 million Tithebarn regeneration scheme, a retail-led project that was also ironically designed by BDP, which required the bus station to be demolished.
Although the proposals collapsed two years ago, Preston has since sanctioned the building’s demolition on the grounds it costs £297,000 a year to maintain, and is too expensive to repair.
Preston Council also rejected an offer in March by energy magnate Simon Rigby who teamed up with the Preston and Manchester-based Frank Whittle Partnership to promote a plan to buy the bus station and transform it into a new retail and leisure complex alongside a smaller bus station.
English Heritage is currently working on a case for listing the bus station, which it expects to submit to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport within the next two months.
Two previous requests by English Heritage to list the bus station have been rejected by ministers. Architecture minister Ed Vaizey, who is thought to be a fan of post war architecture, refused to comment on RIBA president Angela Brady’s request for him to spot-list the building made during a television appearance earlier this year.
He said in the BBC2 Daily Politics show debate: ‘If I receive an application I will consider it with an open mind.’