As of late bus stops are proving to be unexpectedly fertile grounds for architectural innovation. Swiss architects Vehovar & Jauslin are the latest to try their hand at the task in the form of a seemingly floating structure that provides shelter for a bus hub in Aarau, Switzerland. The canopy was realized with the help of engineering firm formTL who appear well-versed in undertakings of a similar ilk. The covering's cool tone derives from a blue-tinged upper membrane that filters through a clear underbelly. This ETFE-foil skin is printed with a bubble-pattern and filled with air to create a curved surface. A steel ring hugs the canopy's perimeter and helps to protect its fragile inflated contents. The entire amoeba-like form sits atop metallic columns that double as light sources once night falls. Sheltering a ground area of 10,764 square feet, the structure is pierced by a central three-pronged opening that welcomes natural light into the station. The project was first begun some nine years ago before its eventual completion late last year.
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Small Town, Big Bus Stops: International Architects Convene on Austrian Village for BUS:STOP Project
A slew of internationally-renowned architects have convened on the unlikeliest of sites. Krumbach, Austria, a town of less than 3,000 may soon be the location of bus stops designed by Sou Fujimoto and Pritzer Prize Winner Wang Shu among others. The BUS:STOP initiative is the brainchild of kulturkrumbach which managed to entice the heralded names to participate in a bus stop design project with the promise of a free vacation and little else. Along with Fujimoto and Amateur Architecture Studio (Wang Shu's architectural practice), Alexander Brodsky, Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Ensamble Studio, and Smiljan Radic all made the journey to the eastern Austria meaning that 7 countries and 3 continents are represented in the project. Upon visiting the town each architect designed a prospective bus stop and then presented their models in a separate ceremony. While each was envisioned in miniature, a full scale replica of Chilean architect Radic's structure was manufactured and displayed at the exhibition. Each international designer will be accompanied by a local architect to aid in the realization of each project and foster cultural exchange. By and large the proposals depart from the traditional bus stop form. While the designs seem to vary in plausibility, Fujimoto's offering, featuring a spiral stairway to nowhere and entirely lacking a roof, seems particularly problematic. In spite of its small size, Krumbach is no stranger to contemporary architecture. If they are to be implemented, the BUS:STOP creations will join a series of recently constructed noteworthy structures found in the area, including a sleek Bushaltestelle contributed by Austrian studio Hermann Kaufmann in 2011.