Ainsley Gommon Architects


RIBA Competition





Date Completed

Submission Spring 2015

Development Overview

The design proposal emulates a reminder of Preston’s textile industry history. The four ribbons enveloping the Youth Zone reflect the compound curved ribs of the iconic Grade II Listed bus station. These strands extend up, over and beyond the building and flow into the landscape, creating an exciting and attractive urban realm, and continue to weave into the surrounding city context. This woven, fluid form, contrasts with the rigid, brutality of the bus station. Connectivity between the built form and the landscape is a key focus of the design, and linkages to the wider city are strengthened. Access and movement will be enhanced and engage with the public realm through the introduction of a linear plaza with cafes.

The Youth Zone creates a vibrant statement sending a clear message that ‘young people matter’. The new building will stand out creating a striking presence, whilst allowing the bus station to retain its poise within the redeveloped context. A subtle glazed link will connect the Youth Zone and bus station. Together they will have a prominent visual presence by day and a striking attractiveness at night. The scheme will sit in contrast to the surrounding context, and creatively utilise a palette of materials, colour and light. Pedestrian permeability is the key focus of the public realm, a combination of routes linking key parts of Preston city centre, and an accessible space for enjoyment and use by all. Providing a new setting for the iconic historic bus station and connecting the new Youth Zone into the city centre. Primary routes are accentuated and interspersed with a variety of materials, levels and elements to encourage interaction and enjoyment.