BDP Architects to Host Charrette to discuss the Urban Implications of Preston Bus Station


In December 2012 Preston City Council voted ‘in principle’ to demolish Preston Bus Station and replace it with a surface car park. This building is a major cultural landmark and it should be preserved and creatively adapted to serve the city. It could act as a key building and public space to make Preston accessible and temper the decay that is affecting the city.

BDP Architects will host a charrette on Friday 28th June 2013, at their North West office to discuss ideas for the future of this building and the urban area surrounding it.

The charrette or workshop will be held in BDP’s Manchester offices in Piccadilly Basin. Key members of their architectural and urban design team will contribute to the discussion. They feel that this is a very important project, both locally and nationally. The state of panic that now exists in Preston is symptomatic of the reaction not only to the recession, which has hit the North particularly hard, but also to the change in shopping habits that the digital revolution has caused. How the post-industrial city will have to adapt to an uncertain future is one of the most pressing issues for architects and designers at this point in the twenty-first century.

Preston Bus Station was constructed in 1969, and was designed by BDP. It was built at a time of great confidence; it was, after all, the same year as the first Moon landing. The building resembled an airport lounge, testament to the importance that was placed upon it by the people of Preston. Modernist buildings can possess great quality and worth, and can contribute to the collective memory of a place. If we are not careful, we will regret the loss of many of them, just as we regret the loss of many older structures that were torn down in the name of progress. Certainly the Bus Station is very much a symbol of Preston, if it is lost the city will lose a famous landmark and part of its optimistic heritage.

This charrette is open to all, architects, designers, and students as well as anyone else who is interested in the future of the building.

Contact Sally Stone for more details or to discuss this further:

Gate 81 is a project that intends to bring to greater attention the plight of Preston’s Bus Station. There has been a considerable amount of negativity surrounding the future of the building, and this is our attempt to bring some optimism to the situation. To this end, we are staging a series of events to both raise the profile of the building, and to generate ideas for the future of this troubled building and the urban area that surrounds it. The first, which was held on May 11th, was an open workshop, collection of lectures and other happenings that was held on the concourse of the Bus Station. Gate 81 is supported by: The Arts Council, Manchester School of Architecture, They Eat Culture.

The Hand of the Architect Sketching

peter-wilson.jpg    bolles-wilson.jpg

Continuity in Architecture have been a-twitter with excitement at the prospect of a lecture by the highly acclaimed architect Peter Wilson. The sense of expectation was heightened by the memories of past and highly influential talks which probably date back to the 1980s. Concepts of interpretation, context, place, narrative and storytelling are always a marvellous encouragement.

Peter Wilson did indeed deliver an inspirational lecture at CUBE. Using the illustrations from his new book about drawing as the basis for the talk, he skipped through a chronological dissection of the work of Bolles + Wilson. He is a man obsessed with hand drawing, and to prove this he showed the preliminary drawings for each project before describing how these sketches influenced the final building. “If the initial sketch is not correct”, he explained, “then the finished building will not be right.” Wilson considers architecture to be “something that accompanies daily life” and his talk and the sketchbooks gloriously showed that.

Outstanding Academic Achievement


Continuity in Architecture is very pleased that one of their final year students has been awarded the University of Manchester award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. This prize recognises the truly exceptional performance of a graduate student.

Tom Cookson, who has just completed his sixth year, designed a collection of small structures within an intimate area of the city of Dubrovnik. This exactingly designed Repository for Unwanted Memorabilia attaches itself closely to the grain of the city. It integrates a series of interconnected spaces with the three-dimensional character of the dense urban environment. The project was beautifully communicated; Tom used both computer and hand drawings to describe his vision.

Tom, who has recently been asked to interview by a number of architectural practices including the with the 2011 RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner, David Chipperfield, also won the Manchester School of Architecture Student of the Year award.



St Wilfrid remains in Hulme


A flying visit to St Wilfrid’s RC Church in Hulme, Manchester designed by A.W.N. Pugin.

Pevsner writes: By Pugin, 1842, and memorable as a very early case of the archeologically convincing church … The exterior of the church is red brick, with lancet windows. It all had to be done cheaply – Pugin’s bane. But he allowed himself the touch of archeological fun of laying his bricks English bond, not Flemish like the hated Georgians.

The church was subsumed in the redevelopment of the 1970s and lost its relationship with low-rise terraced streets. The New Hulme has reinstated something of the original scale of the surrounding buildings.


The building was deconsecrated in the early ‘nineties and converted for use as workshop and business start-up units. The nave has been filled with a utilitarian free-standing structure – in theory the insertion can be removed and the single axial space would be revealed. The chancel and high-altar house a cafe.

Millions have been spent on the adjacent award-winning park and bridges but the exterior of this pre-existing monument continues to deteriorate and repair is probably beyond the resources of the present occupiers.


English Heritage inspectors continue to visit the Grade ll-listed building and are, in general, pleased that the building is heated and used.


Degree Show 2010


The Degree Shows at Manchester Metropolitan University open on Friday 18th June at 5pm.

CiA Studio’s Bachelor of Architecture Projects can be found in Rooms 502 and 503 on the fifth floor of the Chatham Building, Cavendish Street, M15 6BR.

We’re very pleased with the quality and variety of work this year and we hope visitors will be delighted by the physical models, pencil drawings, sketchbooks and good old-fashioned CGI on view. Teaching staff, including Studio Director Sally Stone, will be at the Show tomorrow evening from 6pm if you would like to talk about the work or perhaps discuss joining the Studio in the next academic year.

Sally Stone @sallystone

John Lee @rotoscoper

Dominic Roberts @stoneroberts

Eamonn Canniffe @eamonncanniffe

MMU Degree Show

Edgar Wood 150


Edgar Wood 150th Anniversary Events in Middleton near Manchester
Tel: 0161 6435228 Email:

The Edgar Wood Project on flickr

Thursday, May 13th at 7pm : ‘Edgar Wood and Middleton’
An illustrated talk by JOHN ARCHER at Long Street Methodist Church, Middleton, M24 5UE. Potato Pie Supper. Tickets £5 available from Jon Miguel, Middleton Shopping Centre or S Wellens & Sons. 121 Long St. Middleton or by emailing

Friday, June 4th 1-4pm : Open Day at Elmwood School
Elm Street, Middleton, M24 2EG. Architectural Tour at 2pm by David Morris, Historic Building Specialist. Booking not necessary.

Sunday, June 27th 2-4pm : Celebration Band Concert 1
At the Bandstand in Jubilee Park. In conjunction with Friends of Jubilee Park and Middleton Band. Free entry.

Sunday, August 1st, 2-4pm : Celebration Band Concert 2
Details as above.

Friday, September 10th at 7pm : ‘Edgar Wood in Context’
An illustrated Talk – by local historian GEOFF WELLENS. Long Street Methodist Church, M24 5UE. Potato Pie supper. Tickets £5 from Jon Miguel, Middleton Shopping Centre. S Wellens & Sons. 121 Long St. Middleton or by emailing

Friday, September 10th – Sunday September 12th : Heritage Open Days
Edgar Wood’s beautiful building, LONG STREET METHODIST CHURCH will be open to visitors: Friday 10th and Saturday 11th: 10am to 4pm and Sunday 12th: 12.30 – 4pm. Guided walks to some of Edgar Wood’s other buildings at 2pm on each day.

May – August : ‘The Life and Works of Edgar Wood’
Exhibition. Daily: Middleton Arena. M24 1AG. Free entry.

Sign-up for Urban Narratives Workshop


As part of the Manchester Art and Design Festival (MADF), Future Everything (FE) and the Manchester School of Architecture Events Programme (…?), Continuity in Architecture will be holding an investigative workshop:

Experiments with Urban Narratives

Workshop participants will explore a narrative approach to understanding cities, taking Manchester as their object. They will explore how the past and the present combine and/or clash in the streets, paths, blocks and spaces of the urban environment. They will bring creativity and strongly reflexive approaches to questions of for who, and by whom, cities are designed. Participants will predominantly use film-making as their medium, but may also use montage, modelling, drawing and redrawing as methods of interpreting and designing cities – with attention to urban form, contextual relationships, social relationships, sensory experience, activities and movement.

Collaborators include:

Simon Green, President, Manchester Society of Architecture, Hurd Rolland Partnership
Dr Stephanie Koerner, School of Art, History and Archaeology, University of Manchester
Dr Raymond Lucas, Manchester School of Architecture
Dr Amanda Ravetz, Miriad, Manchester Metropolitan University
Sally Stone, Director Continuity in Architecture, Manchester School of Architecture
Dr Bronislaw Szersznski, Centre for Environmental Change, Lancaster University

The three-week workshop, which begins on Thursday 22nd April, will include a series of film-making exercises, editing instruction, seminar discussions, film showings and a one-day colloquium to discuss results. The films produced during the workshop will be shown at the CUBE Gallery at 6pm on Thursday 13th May and an exhibition of the work will be staged at the Contact Theatre during the Future Everything conference, 13th-14th May.

The workshop is open to students in all departments of Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester and will be of particular interest to those studying in Faculties of Art & Design, Planning and Architecture. Any interested parties from outside the Universities should contact Sally Stone at the email address below.

Registration contact:

Behind the scenes at the library


Aidan Turner-Bishop of the C20 Society NW Group writes:

Manchester Central Library (E Vincent Harris, 1934+) is closing very soon for a major reconstruction. The Library has arranged closedown tours which are listed below. A special tour by the NW group of the C20 Society would probably be difficult to arrange within these dates, times and numbers so I suggest that anyone who is interested books directly with the Library. This will be your *Last Chance* to visit behind the scenes of Vincent Harris’s Central Library for some years. *Book now* if you’re interested. Places are sure to go quickly. The contact details are:

Libby Tempest
Cultural Services Manager,
Manchester Library & Information Service,
Central Library,
St. Peter’s Square,
M2 5PD



Wed 17th March @ 10.30am; Thur 18th March @ 2pm; Sat 20th March @ 11am; Tues 23rd March @ 4.30pm; Wed 24th March @ 6pm; Thur 25th March @ 2.30pm; Thur 25th March @ 6pm; Sat 27th March @ 2pm; Mon 29th March @ 10.30am; Tues 30th March @ 5.30pm

Maximum of 15 places on each tour.

Be Head


The details for the selection and appointment of the new Head of the Manchester School of Architecture can be found HERE … Do you have (and/or):

National/international reputation for academic leadership in the field

International research standing

Professional achievements and recognition

The job description mentions outstanding management and interpersonal skills and successful leadership particularly related to the management of change. A Professorship is available for an appropriately qualified candidate.

Picture: ‘Light & Darkness’ by Rob Krier, The Hague, Netherlands