title: Preston Bus Station – Floating Carpet
location: Preston, England
use: Bus Station, Youth Centre
number of stories: 6
structure : RC
competition period : 2015

Since the opening of the Preston Bus Station in 1969, it has been a critical point of embarkation for the city center. However, its infrastructure has been neglected, with now looming prospect of demolition.

Our proposal to revitalize the structure and introduce new public programs is called the ‘Floating Carpet.’ It occupies a highly strategic site of the western apron and interior station’s concourse. In addition to ennobling the experience of arrival and departure to the bus, it will be an integral part to form a continuous network of renewed public space, clarifying relationships to flow seamlessly from the Preston Bus Station towards to the City Centre with a variety of experiences and accommodation that celebrates its common ground.

Sloped plaza and a new commercial zone under the Carpet activates the street as a new market boulevard. Flowing lines designed within the soft and hard landscape are read as the demarcation of the previous gates, animating the flat and slope surfaces of the Floating Carpet that will function as the city’s ceremonial platform used for formal and informal public events.

Floating Carpet defies simple categorization – urban park, new iconic bus station, civic square, oasis for office workers and residents, playground for youth, an attractive boulevard in support of commercial opportunities like café and market, wide open spaces for flexible and sustainable forward-thinking public space. By fusing the design of the new Preston Bus Station and an urban park into one special place, Floating Carpet speaks to what it means to inspire an open, celebratory and diverse environment that can be a catalyst for positive change.