Architect John Bridge, of Studio John Bridge, is passionate about regeneration and designing beautiful and eco-friendly modern homes. As he prepares to launch the first of his Architect in the House open sessions, he shares his latest thoughts on the city of Preston, its buildings and the opportunities they offer.
Everybody feels connected to the place they grew up or settled.
There is a special bond between you and the place you call home, whether you moved away or stayed put.
We all feel a type of patriotism directed at the place we live, whether we show it by supporting our local football team, political party, taking part in the North and South divide or by refusing to let anybody tell us our evening meal is called anything other than tea.
We all want to live somewhere we can be proud of and recommend; a place that brings us happiness.
I know that Preston is capable of being that place for many people. Already the city has so much to offer, but it needs to evolve, grow further and keep up momentum in order to be the city it has the potential to be.
As an architect I’m able to recognise both the current value, as well as imagine the magnificent future our city has could be.
This feeling was the motivation for me to build an architectural Preston model; this is a laser-etched, 3D printed representation of Preston. It uses augmented reality to present Preston City Council’s key areas, alongside a number of other spaces that my practice is interested in pursuing.
This AR technology by Boost Reality, enables us to demonstrate the spaces and context to developers and clients. It provides a collaborative and unique way of collecting data and provides a canvas to generating new inspiring ideas.
I define regeneration as both new build and refurbishment.
A lot of my clients are often discouraged from purchasing old properties, due to fears of high refurbishment costs.
I consider this both a challenge, and an opportunity. The creativity that could fill these forgotten and underused spaces has taken a back seat for too long.
One of the most well-known forgotten spaces within Preston is the Miley tunnel site, this infamous local space has since become a home for those who don’t have one.
The sadness surrounding the loss of beauty in this space and the helplessness of those who occupy it, inspired me to develop plans for unique single person living in its place as a research and development project. These affordable units that can be built for £20k all in, could be stacked on top of each other to be utilised as affordable homes.
I want to promote the regeneration and conservation of these kinds of forgotten spaces and buildings, for their heritage is at the heart of our city and the legacy of our county.
In March 2018 the new Preston market opened its doors for the first time. As we approach its first birthday, I’ve been reflecting on how the project gave me the opportunity to add my own mark on Preston and work with a fantastic development team at Preston City Council.
It gave me an immense sense of pride and showed many that the city really is in a state of transformation.
I want to see Preston grow into a place where people not only want to travel to for the day, but to also inspire retention of students from UCLan, BAE employees and our home grown to want to live, work and play here.
On every Friday in March we are holding open sessions called ‘Architect in the House’ at Studio John Bridge.
If you are looking for advice on how to regenerate a building or place, build a new eco-home or renovate your business, then we can help you.
Call us on 01772 935959 to book a free 30-minute professional ‘ideas’ consultation at The Artistry House, 16 Winckley Square, Preston, PR13JJ.
Find out more about us at www.studiojohnbridge.co.uk