Blackburn Bus Station
Blackburn & Darwen Borough Council
The Brief was to design a landmark building to increase local, public transport patronage. Our design response engages with the streetscape and context, responding to the pedestrian and vehicular flows and is planned to ensure the surrounding development sites are future-proofed.
The linear concourse plan is arranged to ensure passengers step off buses, straight onto the door step of the adjacent shopping centre which subsequently prompted the owners of the shopping centre to carve up shop fronts to take advantage of the increased footfall. The constrained and narrow plan strengthens the vista along Ainsworth St, improving connectivity with the hinterland whilst ensuring strong visual connections between the train station and bus station.
The composition of the sculptural canopy draws inspiration from Blackburn’s historic weaving looms; constructed using lightweight, self-finished and durable GRP. Undulating loops appear pulled down from the canopy to reveal glazed openings which flood the concourse with natural light. The loops modulate the scale of the concourse, creating a rhythm of peaks and troughs. Six of the loops are stretched to the ground to support the 90m canopy.
Simple full height perimeter glazing disappears into the ground and soffit blurring the boundary between public realm and concourse; both paved in robust natural stone. Above this a projecting canopy edge is unashamedly deep to maximise the visual impact of the structural solution.
People now gather at what was once a deserted street and the light spilling out from the concourse enlivens the area at night promoting safe passage along Ainsworth st.