Preston’s Rich Architectural Journey
by Chris Taylor, director at Cassidy + Ashton
Preston has certainly become home to some fascinating architectural landmarks over the last 200 years, with the city’s rich history undeniably unique and full of character - from the Neo Classical lines of the Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library to the Brutalist style of Preston Bus Station, which completed (not without controversy) in 1969.
Building on this diverse heritage, additions to green areas of the city such as Avenham Park and the Brockholes Nature Reserve, have brought balance to the urban landscape, whilst recent news of UCLan’s £200m development promises yet more positive change.
Academic buildings present welcome opportunities for architects to flex their creative muscles. In recent years UCLan has received grants allowing for several new buildings to be commissioned, including the £5m Faculty of Dentistry. Designed by our Preston office in 2007, the three-storey development sits harmoniously alongside the existing Harrington Building, with a glazed link providing clear separation between the old and new.
Other memorable front runners, but on a much larger scale, include the £40m James Hall & Co distribution centre. With the firms existing premises failing to meet its growing needs, we were commissioned to design a new 400,000 sq ft warehouse and office building. With it set to become the central distribution centre for 450 Spar shops and the company’s new headquarters, the sheer scale of the development was an exciting but challenging process.
Now as we look ahead to Preston’s architectural journey of the future, it’s set to be just as interesting as its past, with its status as a bustling hive for education attracting students from far and wide. Not only will the retail sector grow to accommodate demand, but new student accommodation is also expected to feature on the city’s bright horizon.
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