“Like life below the sea’s surface the whole project reflects an organic and natural form.”
The Mari-tech Park
The Preston Bus Station has always provided a significant landmark in the city since it was completed in 1969 and it is one of the most significant Brutalist buildings in the UK. Preston City Council is keen to see the building demolished and replaced on a much smaller scale.
Chen Zhao, Yuan Xue and Jiaojiao Wu who are students studying on the MA Interior Design course formed a team to develop creative ways to reuse the now almost completely redundant building. In developing ideas for change they explored the context of Preston as a city and looked to find new uses for the space that would provide facilities and amenities that fitted in with Preston as a contemporary city.
Preston’s parks provided clear evidence that the city recognised their importance as a way to bond communities through the promotion of leisure and sports activities. When Preston expanded during the industrial era parks were important ways to provide green space and focussed on the needs of resident workers. Over time the popularity of these parks has faded and today we use cars to transport us to recreation spaces further afield and so their relevance in society is less pronounced.
Why a Mari-tech Park?
The team’s focus was to reinterpret what a contemporary park should be. Should it be horizontal, vertical, free to use and enter, enclosed or open? The Park is necessary to act as an aspirational starting point or catalyst for the redevelopment of the Bus Station. We need to attract developers and their money to redevelop the remainder of the building and also to put Preston and this site on the Tourist map. Imagine a day at the Beach, an exciting architectural visit, a chance to view the normally hidden sea life and an exploration of new technologies focussed on sustainable futures….
News just in…
The BBC announced in September that the Bus Station will be saved. It has just successfully received grade 2 listing status and now the media and developers are focussed upon its future this project has more validity than ever before.