A new bus station on the outskirts of the small town of Calpe, Eastern Spain, has added a much needed local facility. Built alongside the intersection of two main throughfares into the town centre, the new station brings order and punctuality to the local public transport network.
A bird’s eye view of the site before development revealed a rectangular plot 73m x 68m with the complicating factor of having a natural slope, in elevation, of six metres. The planning brief required the design of a small-scale transport hub that would predominately be used for buses but would also allow parking space for taxis and drop-off zones. The hub needed to handle the influx of passengers from a minimum of 10 buses at any given time and cater for the transfer of passengers. Although the requirements of the brief were not overly onerous, an important stipulation was that of creating a solution that fitted into the local context.
Architect Alberto Mengual spent some time in considering the site, particularly the integration of the six metre slope. A series of tall undulating pergolas made from galvanized steel frames and iroko timber form the main structural components of the final design. They help to create a very open, light, yet understated series of platforms that passengers can use as waiting areas or transfer to connecting buses. The gentle rhythmic shape of the iroko timber slats form dreamy shadows across the spaces between the platforms, echoing warmth and openness. Painted in the traditional white of its surroundings, the only fully enclosed structure is a small concrete block that forms the ticket office. A gently sloping ramp and two staircases connect the station to the upper end of the site. This very simple project incorporates the harmonious use of galvanized steel and timber to give this project a light and delicate feel that sits comfortably within its local context.
Architect: Alberto Mengual
Image: Alberto Mengual