Bold public transport design has taken the urban environment by storm recently, and if Vehovar & Jauslin's enormous cloud-like bus shelter is any indication, the trend towards isn't fading anytime soon. The Zurich-based architects worked with Form TL engineers to create a playful and innovative shelter for the Aarau bus station in Switzerland. It's not just the bold and bulbous appearance of the large structure that's impressive; the cloud bus shelter is actually the largest "air-supported single-chamber membrane air cushion" in the world.
The “floating” shade structure stretches over 1,000 square meters and it’s supported by a steel frame. An irregular network of steel cables gives shape to the inflated membrane cushion, which is made of the synthetic material ETFE. The durable, lightweight and weather-resistant material allowed the designers to mold the structure into its eye-catching, globular form.
The architects opted to open the structure in the middle to provide additional daylight, creating a pleasing environment where travelers can congregate as they wait for their bus. Architect Mateja Vehovar explains: “From the beginning, we wanted to create a spatial atmosphere under the roof that resembles a clearing in the woods. In order to greet the passengers in a bright and friendly environment, a very light, diaphanous material was selected.”
Photography by Niklaus Spoerri