Three designs for bus rapid transit (BRT) stations in three neighborhoods last week were named winners of the 2013 Burnham Prize Competition–NEXT STOP: Designing Chicago BRT Stations.
Each competition entry includes a station prototype and variations for three neighborhoods—the Loop, Bucktown-Logan Square and Pilsen.
“Form vs. Uniform incorporates a simple wood surface, which allows BRT stations to be consistent yet unique to their surroundings. Wood strips form the station structure, roof, and entrances. The width and pattern of the wooden strips vary in order to block summer sun. Glass walls provide shelter and views. Rooftop windows let in fresh air. Solar panels generate a portion of the power needed to operate station features including ticket machines, sliding doors, and real time arrival screens. Station amenities include heat lamps and bike racks.
Judges commented: “The FIRST PLACE winners have developed a beautiful station design that combines classic materials with state-of-the art technology to create a new iconic look for a BRT system in Chicago. The design has a timeless quality and simple elegance. It has good integration of structure, seating and enclosure, is easily adapted for varying entry needs and could shelter bikes, as well as people.”
The second place winners were Goi Artetxe and Elise Katherine Renwick from Chicago for “Enthalpy.”
Enthalpy stations serve the community as well as BRT riders. (Enthalpy means the measure of total energy of a thermodynamic system.) The stations incorporate solar panels to generate energy, which powers the stations or returns to the grid. The structures include bike storage, recycling points, ticketing machines, and seating. Vending machines offer bike accessories and snacks. The stations are clad in metal mesh.
Judges commented: “The design for the SECOND PLACE winner creates an inviting space with a feeling of openness that does not overwhelm the street context, and successfully integrates solar and digital technologies.”
Third place went to Conor O’Shea and Aneesha Dharwadker from Boston for “Bus Transit Authority.”
Bus Transit Authority, BTA, is a framework that can adapt to the city and neighborhood scale. Modular units can be arranged as local conditions demand. The flexibility and low cost of BTA components allow for stations to changed based on fluctuating economic conditions, neighborhood development, and seasonal ridership. Stations can be assembled and disassembled for one-off occasions such as sporting events or political rallies.
Judges commented saying: “The THIRD PLACE winners have proposed a station design with a modern look that works across the city, downtown or in the neighborhoods, day and night, and can be sized to fit the right scale needed for each stop with fully integrated digital technology for customer information.”
The Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Chicago Architectural Club sponsored the contest, which drew 42 architectural firms from 14 countries.
Congratulations to all three winners.