Connection to Place via Bus

by David Bramer

Location: address or street intersection 1st Ave. NE and NE 103rd St. Seattle, WA

The Northgate Transit Hub is one of the many bus shelter sites I focused on for the micro-urban environment. It combines the principles of the bunker and topography referred to in Chi’s article “an Introduction to Micro-urbanism.” Providing a place of refuge for passengers as shelter from the rain addresses the notion of bunker. This site also allows itself to be highly visible and accessible, making it effective according to Chi’s references to Sun Tzu‘s The Art of War. Multiple programming is one of the main principles behind Zukin’s concept of liminality. The Hub has a coffee shop/newsstand built into its south end, providing a commercial outlet, adding to the multiplicity of the site. The site has commissioned art built in to the design, such as two round mosaics placed in the sidewalks, under each of the main canopy structures. Hou, Rios, Francis, Cashdan, and Paxson elaborate on influences of private intervention on public realms. The art work of the bus shelters throughout Seattle are representative of individuals’ influence on elements in the open spaces. These shelters serve as refuge from the weather, connection points for commuters, and representations of public art and activism all while acting as microcosms of an entire city’s functions.

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Micro Urbanism

The term “micro-urbanism” describes small-scale urban spaces and design interventions that enable a wide variety of activities, events, processes and functions to take place. It also involves ways to reinterpret the urban landscape. As a class project, the purpose for creating this Guide is to bring attention to aspects of our everyday environment that are important but often neglected parts of the urban experiences.

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