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 , Keith Harrison and Anna Raczynski 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 a performative work at the Preston Bus Station. Anna Raczynski artist/filmmaker will be creating a series of talking head portraits of people associated with Preston Bus Station.


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.

You are invited to submit your photographs of Preston Bus station to go on display during the exhibition. There will be competition prizes and opportunity to sell your work.

For full details and how to enter the photography competition download the application form coming soon.


10 June - Instameet at Preston bus Station. In partnership with BlogPreston - Preston's Instagram community was given the first-chance to see a major new artwork at Preston Bus Station.

Sunday 14 July - 32 Double Decker buses choreographed at Preston Bus Station 

Fancy getting up early on a Sunday morning? Don't miss this unique chance to see an hour-long performance by 32 bus-drivers whose actions  will be mirrored by volunteers in the passenger concourse. Keith Harrison is directing the work with bus drivers from Preston Bus and Stagecoach taking part. This work will be recorded by filmmaker Jared Schiller and can be seen from the bus station passenger concourse.
Time? 9.30am Cost? Free

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.  


Call out for objects
We need your help. Do you have keepsakes or items that could go on display - objects or photographs - that connect you to the bus station - now or in the past?

You are warmly invited to come along to one of our object hand in dates and chat to our curator.

Saturday 20 July
12noon - 4pm

Wednesday 24 July
5 -7.30pm

Friday 26 July
12noon -4pm

Your items can be everyday, one offs or quirky - we'd love to see them.

The Hand-In sessions are free and you can can just drop in. 

 More information here or 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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