|West Palm Beach, Florida
In an era in which questions about equity, justice, and access are at the forefront of our collective discourse, the way these cultural imperatives are captured by the architectural imagination has transformative potential.
The notion that “everyone deserves good design” is articulated in John Cary’s 2013 address to the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning and subsequently published in Metropolis Magazine. Eight years later, this call to action resonates more broadly and with even greater urgency. It is a call that invites us all to examine that which we take for granted critically. It recognizes the design inherent in everyday objects and that the mundane can also be profound. Most importantly, it asks us if we can design better, for more, with less.
Storyn Studio for architecture, embracing this ethos, has made this part of their practice, underpinning every stage of the design process. In one of their latest projects -the humble bus stop, it is on full display. Few structures go unnoticed more than a bus stop, but what does it say about how a community is seen?
The bus stop is the first introduction to a new place that many people have. What message do we send to them about that place, and their value in that community? The bus stop is a single station of a comprehensive urban system that speaks to the ability of whole segments of a population to access the services offered by their city. That should be celebrated, not ignored! The STORYN Studio for Architecture celebrates everything a bus stop should be in this project.
From busses to charging stations to electric scooters, Storyn’s bus stop concept incorporates multi-modal transit to extend and expand people’s access to the amenities of the places in which they live and visit. With this organization they provide new opportunities for ridership, and unique value to mass transit in general. This access scales from groups to individuals and fills the gap between the 15-minute walk and the 15-minute drive.
“The bus stop is the first introduction to a new place that many people have. What message do we send to them about that place, and their value in that community? “
-Everald Colas AIA, NOMA
“Everyone deserves good design.” The bus stop and related transit infrastructure provides a vital service to those that are in need. There is no reason it shouldn’t be a dignified space too. Storyn’s design embodies this philosophy, not just in the outcome but throughout the inclusive process incorporating stakeholders from the community, local artists, and engineers to represent a collective vision rather than one imposed. Floating above the ground plane on two-point connections, the shelter connects its occupants with their surroundings rather than isolating them in a box apart. The screen textures and dapples light as if you were beneath the canopy of a tree. It provides shade as well as view. It also represents the culture of its place being designed and fabricated in collaboration with local artist Ya La’Ford.
This bus stop is also the first introduction to a transformative redevelopment of the Shops at the Press that will integrate the downtown core with suburban periphery —dedicated to the health and welfare of its community, providing increased access to food, fitness, and commerce where previously there was none. It is small, but, its potential to foster change as a component of an urban system much more significant than itself, is profound. It reimagines an object many encounter every day and imbues it with uncommon meaning. Storyn sees that object as providing dignity; as something that opens new services and amenities to under-served communities; as something that truly makes a great city through great design.