Most bus stations are usually made of solid monolithic structure, with their canopy designed to cover the area the passenger stands while waiting for a bus. Though this works, I feel the traditional bus-stop design has the potential to be more. An example is the Aarau Bus station in Switzerland, designed by Vehovar and Jauslin with engineering firm, Form TL. The bus station is made from a combination of steel supports and a transparent  inflatable ETFE-foil canopy with a bubble pattern print. The upper part of the canopy is blue while the lower/inner side is clear, both coming together to form a meandrous “air-tight cushion that is butt-welded without visible repetition” over a 1000sq metres area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of a bus station being more than it can be, this design confidently deviates from the traditional bus stop which covers the area the passengers stand/sit to wait for a bus. Its canopy extends over the passengers waiting area and over the bus lanes, giving “sufficient” shelter to the passengers (something traditional bus stations can’t boast of). The organically shaped void at the center of the canopy, funnels light onto the station and the general atmosphere is open, well lit and very airy.

 

 

vehovar & jauslin and formTL inflate aarau bus station canopyAside from the sufficient shelter it gives to waiting passengers, its design and span makes it an instant landmark. You certainly can’t miss a bus station like this, it’s pretty obvious! It goes beyond a fixture at the corner of the road and transcends into a place you are looking forward to experiencing; one that increases the value of the urban environment. And for developing countries like Nigeria, this will be an interesting module to adopt.
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