Offener Wettbewerb (auch fĂĽr Studenten) | 01/2022

Baus-Stop – Bauhaus themed bus stop design challenge



Umbrella Baus-stop

Auszeichnung / Editor's Choice

[lu:p] Architektur GmbH



For the design challenge, to create a Bauhaus-themed bus stop as a landmark and a reminder what that movement was and is all about – and also what it can be today – many of original principals where used: form follows function, simplicity, minimalism, the use of geometric shapes, no separation between artistry and craftsmanship, the use and displaying of true materials, a smart use of resources and space as well as modern technology. And, by applying all these principals, to push the envelope of what such a bus stop can be.
What are the basic functions of a bus stop? It marks the spot where you can wait for a bus. You are sheltered from the weather. You can sit down and rest while waiting. You can inform yourself about the bus schedules. At night, it is often an illuminated location. Especially then, but also during the day, it is a gathering point for people, a distinguished spot from others along the streets of a city or a road – even for people who are not waiting for a bus.
The here chosen concept and form for the “Baus-stop”, a bus stop right across the street of the Bauhaus University and it’s campus in Weimar, Germany (the birthplace of said style) is both simple and minimalistic: A giant umbrella as a shelter and gathering point for people waiting for the bus is placed next to the street. Its form follows its function – it is a highly recognisable point, moreover it shelters people from the nature. It is simple – everybody recognises it as an sheltering umbrella. From an architectural standpoint, is is just a roof with a load-bearing pole, no walls are needed. Very minimalistic, but very effective and functional. The structure consists of clear geometric shapes: an inverted arc, a cylinder and a hemisphere. Craftsmanship is surely needed to construct and build it, but the use of the umbrella and its size is rather artistic and surprising for the here intended purpose. Under the roof of the umbrella, a semi-circular bench, open towards the street, offers a seating-accommodation for those who want or need it.
The structure is open to all sides and visible from all directions. It can be accessed from the pavement as well as the Ilm Park, located behind the bus stop along the Belvederer Allee. Like every other good bus stop, it is open and accessible not only for people using public transportation. This seemingly light structure also doesn’t impede the view into the park, at the University or at the near by located Liszt House. Also important, bus drivers can easily spot potential passengers while approaching the stop.
Of course, the used materials are not those of a typical umbrella nor of a normal bus stop for that matter: It consists of a (partly inner) steel supporting structure and is resting on the curved semi-circle umbrella handle as “a foot”, which is anchored to the hidden foundation in the ground. So the actual footprint (ground contact) is a rather small point. The visible steel elements like the “handle”, the shaft or the roof braces are all chrome-plated. At eye level, the shaft is covered with a white electric screen, showing text and graphics, informing people about the bus timetables. The seemingly light, semi-transparent and almost hovering roof – the actual umbrella – consists, besides the chromed steel structure, of curved satin-finished glass sheets.
Even when not lit, the bright and shiny structure is clearly visible against the dark tarmac of the street or the green brown colouring of the park. In the evening or at night, the crown of light, hidden in the umbrellas brim illuminates the inner dome of the hemisphere, bathing people standing underneath in a warm, pleasant light. 
The rather rough and natural exposed concrete of the bench contrasts on purpose with the umbrella. It’s chosen materials where inspired by the product design side of the Bauhaus. The Umbrella Baus-stop can be seen and produced like a product.
In this way, the Umbrella Baus-stop is a small but meaningful work of art – a “Gesamtkunstwerk” with the spirit of the Bauhaus. It is a worthwhile addition to the urban space of Weimar or maybe other towns and cities. It doesn’t necessarily need to correspond with it’s surroundings, it stands alone. But also it is restrained enough to not interfere with it’s surroundings, fresh and new, but striving for timelessness like the Bauhaus intended for its works.