Blackburn Bus Station

Client: Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Designed by Capita’s multidisciplinary design team in our Blackburn office, the new station is situated in the heart of the town centre on the site of a former market and adjacent to the town’s shopping centre and new market development.

The station forms part of the Pennine Reach rapid bus transport scheme which aims to improve public transport connectivity within East Lancashire, reduce journey times, and improve passenger facilities. The route, which covers 21 miles, will provide improved waiting facilities and passenger information, bus priority measures, and innovative payment and ticketing solutions. 

The relocation of the bus station to the new site will increase footfall outside the shopping centre and the new market, while maintaining a direct link with the rail station and the nearby cathedral quarter development.

The brief for the bus station was developed in conjunction with the future operators/managers of the facility who expressed a desire for a striking yet functional design that provides a safe and secure environment connected directly to the pedestrian realm. The facility contains 14 bus stands plus an additional three layover spaces, space for public functions and community events, a café and retail kiosk and a focal hub building. 

The design is a lightweight elegant canopy within the centre of the town which sails over the concourse area. The two storey hub building is positioned at the southern end of the concourse and accommodates a travel information centre and public/staff welfare facilities.

The outward facing elements of the building are flat and orthogonal. In contrast, the underside of the canopy is free flowing and consists of a number of glazed slots cut in the canopy to allow daylight to penetrate onto the concourse area. Directly below each of the slots is a hanging loop which appears to be pulled down from the canopy to reveal a glazed opening. The composition of these draws inspiration from the cotton weaving looms, and drying cotton bundles, a reference to the town’s industrial past.

There are five loop types (A, B, C D and E) which are arranged to alter the scale of the concourse and create a rhythm of peaks and troughs along its length. Loop A is designed to provide support to the whole canopy allowing the canopy to appear as one floating unified element.

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