The architect chosen to design the £13m revamp of Preston Bus Station has admitted he feels “excited and privileged” to be handling such an important project.
New York-based John Puttick’s company beat off competition from almost 100 other firms around the world with its eye-catching vision of a new-look terminus, incorporating the city’s Youth Zone and public open space.
And speaking at the Grade II Listed building Mr Puttick declared: “When I heard our design had won I was absolutely thrilled. It is a privilege as an architect to get the chance to work on a public project such as this.
“I think for most architects that is what they aspire to and for us it is a wonderful opportunity.”
The Puttick design was chosen by a panel of judges who took into account a public poll on a shortlist of six.
Lancashire County Council leader Jennifer Mein, who welcomed Mr Puttick to the bus station, admitted: “To be honest this was my favourite design - and I’m not just saying that.”
And landscape artist Harriet Bourne, who will design the outside public space, said she too was honoured to be taking on such a high-profile project. “I love the building, it’s a wonderful project,” she said.
Work has now begun putting together a planning application which could go before Preston City Council inside three months. It is hoped the whole scheme could be finished in two years.
“It’s an important building,” said London-born Mr Puttick. “It represents a moment in time for British architecture.
“Some may say we’re taking something on, but it’s an important project, so what more could you ask for as an architect?
“It is a real privilege to be appointed. It is definitely a design challenge, but there is also a chance as an architect to do something very beneficial here.”