Gate 81 is a collaborative and creative project centred on exploring preservation and ideas of creatively adapting Preston Bus Station to serve the City. The project started in response to the proposed demolition plans and worked hard with other organisations to help shine a light on this landmark building which after two unsuccessful attempts it was granted Grade II listed building status in September 2013.

It’s an open data venture launched in January 2013 by three Preston-dwellers; academic Sally Stone, Director of Continuity in Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture, Ruth Heritage, They Eat Culture’s Creative Director, and Architect Dominic Roberts, partner at Francis Roberts Architects.

The project released basic plans online for the public, professionals, and anyone with an interest in adapting and remixing them; this was supported with a series of workshops and talks to explore, hands-on, how to do this, and the themes of architecture and urban planning, community engagement, and culture.

Re-imagine Preston Bus Station Workshop (May 2013)
This all day event on the concourse of Preston Bus Station was an internationally advertised charette that looked specifically at the problems surrounding modernist landmark building. TEC in collaboration with the students Manchester School of Architecture structurally re-worked the space and hosted talks from speakers including Stella Hall, the Director of Preston Guild 2012; Professor Tom Jefferies, Head of the Manchester School of Architecture; Professor Kevin Rhowbotham, UCLan School of Architecture, Christina Malathouni who wrote the listing application for the Twentieth Century Society, and renowned international artist Nayan Kulkami.

The day also hosted film screenings, drop-in workshops, architecture & culture walks and feedback sessions.

Alongside contemporary responses by artists with a relationship to Preston; Chris Jones, Jamie Hawkesworth and 0point3 Recurring.

“Extremely informative, hopeful and great to know I’m not the only person who’s passionate about preserving our cultural heritage”

John Robertson – Gate 81 workshop

Talk1: Tom Jefferies: Urban heroes and villains- Preston Bus Station

See all the Re-imagine Preston Bus Station talks from Gate 81 on our Youtube channel here

International Open Urban Design Competition – deadline 21st April 2015

UK and international architects and urban designers now have the opportunity to enter a competition for the development of Preston Bus Station and its adjoining western apron, to include the provision of a brand new Youth Zone, a state of the art facility for the young people of Preston. Read more here


For more information visit

Download Re-imagine Preston Bus Station Workshop programme of events here