Work steps up on community art installation

12 August 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Harris Flights project gets underway  

Pic: UCLan’s Professor Charles Quick, co-curator of In Certain Places, Councillor John Swindells, Research Design architect Charlie Mac Keith  

Work has begun on a dramatic temporary staircase, known as the Harris Flights, to transform the façade of the iconic Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston.

The staircase will link the frontage of the neo-classical Grade I listed Harris Museum with the market square, located in the centre of Preston, for a month long project starting on the 17 August.

The first floor podium of the Harris is usually only used only for ceremonial occasions and has been accessed by a lucky few including Sir Winston Churchill. For the first time ever people will be able to experience the podium view point by moving directly from the market square into the heart of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery through a ‘new’ front door and vice-versa.


As well as encouraging more people to visit the Museum, Harris Flights will also act as a temporary performance space with 17 shows provided by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

harris flights

The steps will become a platform for professional performers, community groups and students to display their talents to an audience in the market square. As an alternative use the staircase will become a platform to view performances or events in the market square ‘auditorium’.

The Harris Flights part of an architectural intervention commissioned by In Certain Places, a programme of temporary public artworks and events in Preston, in a curatorial partnership between UCLan and the Harris Museum and Art Gallery to influence the development of the city. Architectural practice Research Design has teamed up with In Certain Places for the Harris Flights project.

Further information about the architecture of Harris Flights.

You can also view the programme of events (