Brutalist Architecture Preston Bus Station Becomes Listed Building

What amazing news I heard the other day that Preston Bus Station, in Preston Lancashire, has been given grade II listed status by the Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey, blocking plans for preston Council to demolish it.

Preston Bus Station

Don’t get me wrong, I have no love for the ugliness of brutalist architecture but it is a style that is part of our cultural history and, for that reason alone, I think any paragons of this architectural style should remain. In the past other types of architecture that are now revered, such as 1930’s modernism, were vilified by the general public but luckily, great examples still exist.

The UK is an amazing melting pot of different architectural designs, plotting our long history throughout the landscape and it is unique and wonderful. Although it may not feel like a victory to Preston council and many of it’s people, I’m sure it was the right decision.

Amazing cantilevered entrance defies gravity

Brutalism was a period of architecture that was popular from the 1950’s until the mid 1970’s. The predominance of concrete in it’s construction, meant that the structures could be built cheaply and the style was popular with low cost rental housing, shopping centres and colleges. Some of the best remaining examples, fall into this bracket, such as Trellick Tower designed by Erno Goldfinger in 1966, which is also now a listed building and much of the South Bank, such as The Barbican Centre and The Hayward Gallery, which is just about to undergo a renovation, similar to the standard of the work carried out at The Festival Hall.

What do you think? A blot on the landscape or just another chapter in the history of architecture?

The Barbican Centre London

The approach to the Haywood Gallery South Bank London, which is to undergo a renovation

Grade II listed Trellick Tower

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2 Comments

  1. Matthew 6 September, 2017 / 12:24 am

    It’s not about liking ugliness. Brutalist architecture is beautiful. In the same way that a Rothko or Franz Kline is beautiful. It is not pretty architecture, it has austere beauty. Minimal beauty, without overt decoration. The beauty of pure light and shadow, texture and form. It’s not easily and immediately likeable to most people, but that only makes it more interesting, more worthwhile to take some time to get to know it.

    The well known buildings in the photos are a question mark, inviting people to reappraise their understanding of beauty. Art should not just be pretty pictures. No-one would argue for this, and architecture is no different. If we are going to have art let us make it complex, thought provoking. Ugly, no. Beautiful, yes.

    • karen 26 September, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion and as you rightly say it would be a bland world if everything were aesthetically pleasing. Thanks for reading the blog post and taking the time to reply x

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