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Creative vision needed for bus station project

Visions of the future?: A multiplex cinema idea, above, submitted by Ben Casey, and a skating facility are two of the potential ideas already put forward on how the bus station could be used

Visions of the future?: A multiplex cinema idea, above, submitted by Ben Casey, and a skating facility are two of the potential ideas already put forward on how the bus station could be used

It is the building everyone seems to have a view on.

Now architects and creative thinkers are asking the people of Preston to put their own spin on the city’s bus station.

The Gate 81 project website allows visitors to download drawings of the famous station and use software to adapt them as they see fit with their own ideas for the Brutalist building.

The project is being run by architects Sally Stone and Dominic Roberts and Ruth Heritage from creative producers They Eat Culture.

Sally, who lives in Preston city centre and teaches architecture students in Manchester, said the idea behind it was to look at what positive things could be done at the station at a time when Preston Council leaders want to demolish the building because of its running costs.

She said: “There is a lot of negativity round the bus station and development in Preston in general.

“We want to instill a bit optimism.

“I think the building exudes optimism.

“It was created in the 1960s when man landed on the moon, anything was possible and Preston built the biggest bus station in Europe.

“People can download the drawings and sketch or write on them and anyone can use it.”

Sally added: “I don’t think the council has a plan and they are just panicking.

“Having huge areas of empty land is not the future.

“We need a plan, some hope and some action.”

The project’s name is inspired by the 80 gates at Preston Bus station.

The design ideas and suggestions people put forward will be discussed at a creative workshop in May.

Ruth said: “I like the bus station – it makes Preston stand out and is a dominant feature on our landscape.

“But Gate 81 is not about sides of pro or anti.

“The project is about people being able to have input into how the city is developing.

“What is lacking in local planning is people’s input into what they need from development and what they want to use the city centre for. It’s about getting them involved and engaged with the development process and raising the profile of the bus station.”

For more infomration, log on to http://gate81.tumblr.com/ to view the project and download the pictures and design software to submit your own idea.

 

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