‘Ugly’ station named as worst in country

Preston bus station
Preston bus station
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Preston’s controversial bus station has been named as the ugliest building in the country by the Independent newspaper.

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair’s introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, journalist John Rentoul encouraged readers to name some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape, which he compiled into a top 10.

Preston Bus Station, which was granted Grade II listed status last year, was ranked top, with one voter saying the Brutalist structure “has always reminded me of a concrete lasagne”.

John Wilson, member of the Save Preston Bus Station campaign, has criticised the article.

He said: “I think it’s a poor article, it’s just looking for reaction. Why pick out a building that’s just been given Grade II listed status?”

He added: “It’s one of Preston’s favourite buildings. It’s an iconic landmark, and it creates controversy and debate.

“When people come from out of town, when they have never seen the building before, they enthuse about its design and what it means to the people of Preston.

“I think John Rentoul ought to remember that recently the Independent ran a big piece called The Battle for Preston Bus Station by Preston-born reporter Martin Baker, singing the station’s praises.”

The station, built in 1969, came in above Buckingham Palace in second place, and the South Bank Centre in London in third, in the ugly list.

The accolade flies in the face of recent praise by the 20th Century Society’s, which named the station is one of the top 100 buildings in the past 100 years.

The Society described the structure, designed by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson of Building Design Partnership, as “one of the most significant Brutalist buildings in the UK”.