There are many important aspects to creating the correct interplay between the built environment and its potential users. A list of basic rules may include: integration within the landscape, choice of materials and most importantly, its functional use.
Muiños + Otero have created a series of sculptural street furniture whereby they attempt to create a dialogue between the landscape and potential users. The first of these is a bus shelter addressing the needs of pedestrians; the second, a series of integrated urban furniture for city life.
The designers wanted to move away from traditional bus shelter designs by trying to combine practicality with a modern interpretation. Their resulting design combines a mixture of textures to form the essence of a new concept for the shelter. A scuffed bare faced concrete plinth acts as the main seating area with high density boarding used as seating pads. A slender galvanized steel frame helps to form the main structure of the shelter, which protrudes out of the concrete plinth. This is clad with a translucent cellular polycarbonate sheet.
A dramatic laminated glass panel forms the back wall to the shelter. A bright blue polyvinyl coating that matches the seating pads adds colour and vibrancy to the otherwise austre design.
Muiños + Otero have worked on a series of urban furniture designs that they hope will be used throughout the region. Their objective was to develop a collection of sculptural elements that could be used in deprived areas that would be combined to provide practical urban furniture and introduce green spaces to the local environment. The designs would have to withstand expected issues of vandalism and natural aging.
To achieve their objectives, a consistent palette of materials was chosen; concrete for the base structure, galvanized steel framing as a supporting material and timber or corten steel to add a finishing touch.
The designs incorporate areas where insertion of trees, plants and shrubs can be made to create green spaces within highly built up urban areas.
The lighting elements include solar energy systems so that energy consumption is kept to a minimum. An important theme developed by the architect is that of creating new street furniture that will not only stand the test of time but also be used by the public.
Architect: Muiños + Otero