The North Shore Busway was commissioned to improve public transport connections from the North Shore to the City. The busway would operate much like a light rail system with dedicated stations providing an interchange facility with the local bus network. The project consisted of five stations sited along the northern motorway.
A key challenge of the project was in lifting the design to exceed expectations. The goal was to provide station environments that, in addition to serving a functional purpose, also create attractive and dignified environments that make public transport an enjoyable experience. The aim was to facilitate the mind shift required to increase the use of public transport.
The design was developed to provide a ‘kit of parts’ that could assemble in different ways according to the site’s context, providing a unique sense of place yet commonality for the different locations.
These parts included ‘masts’ and ‘clouds’. The masts translated into supports for canopies, extending into the sky for fixing of lights, CCTV and flags and the clouds become floating elements, roofing the hub of the stations – the waiting room. The clouds are constructed from a tensile fabric membrane and lit from within; at night they omit a soft, tranquil glow which softens the industrial aesthetic.
The application of CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles was essential to the success of the project due to the relatively remote station locations. The station layouts were designed to be highly accessible to the public, eliminating areas of entrapment, virtually transparent at eye level, yet providing full shelter and protection from the elements.