The North Jæren region is one of the fastest-growing areas in Norway. In order to serve the population more effectively and efficiently, the local government has conceived what will be Europe’s longest bus-only road. The project is being established in stages, and in 2021 the first stage will be completed, connecting Stavanger with the city of Sandnes. Besides paving the roads, the local government wanted the entire undertaking to contain something that reflected the area’s personality. They decided the solution would be to hold a competition for the bus stop design – with bus stops after all being the places where people board and get off the buses and as a symbol for the entire project.
The solution of KOKO Architects started by deconstructing a bus stop as a structure – essentially a roof that shelters passengers from the rain and walls that block the wind. In the urban space, the roof is bound to be the most eye-catching part, because the wind-shielding walls of bus stops are often transparent for the sake of maintaining the visual purity of the urban space.
Our design for the pavilion’s roof was based on three principles: it should be airy, functional and adaptable. To ensure the first of these qualities, we used a roof structure suspended between two pairs of posts, which required minimal support structures. The form therefore helped us achieve the second goal: a roof with a variable height helps divert rainwater, makes for easy lighting installation on the underside and allows various degrees of shading from the sun. The third goal can be changed according to the structure: the different heights and distances between the support posts allow the amplitude of the roof’s “waves” to be manipulated. The adjustability makes it possible to create both conspicuous features in urban places and more modest solutions in rural areas, with both versions nevertheless having one pervading personality.