Wentworth Institute of Technology



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    old projects 001: Mass Ave Bus Shelter

    Michael Bellefeuille
    Oct 5, '05 10:00 PM EST

    since I've got some free time tonight and to make up for making new posts so infrequently, I've decided to put up an old project every week or so. A lot of these are pretty sketchy, especially as far as anything using VectorWorks or Photoshop is concerned since I was really just getting to understand the programs at the time.

    The first project I'm putting up is one of my favorites, a bus shelter for the Mass Ave bridge over I-90 between Newbury and Boylston Streets. My main focus in this project was to create a sense of motion in the bus shelters and to alter pedestrian traffic patterns to mimic those of a bus (forcing them to move around the shelter, not past it the way a bus changes lanes). I wanted to emphasize that this shelter was not a destination, but part of a journey.

    Here is the concept statement I wrote for this project:
    The bus shelter on the Mass Ave overpass of I-90 is rather poetic in its situation on a bridge. The buses that service the shelter are a bridge in their own right, because like bridges, they connect people and places which otherwise would be divided. Also like bridges, the buses are able to connect, but not necessarily blend different places and peoples together. The two sides of Mass Ave which are divided by I-90 are quite dissimilar, yet the bridge makes a physical connection possible. Similarly, the neighborhoods from which the buses arrive and to which they depart are much different from that of the corner of Mass Ave and Newbury Street, yet they make a physical connection possible. Currently, the bus shelter does not take advantage of this poetry. It neglects the notions of motion, journey and most importantly connection. Rather, it seems to inadvertently emphasize stativity, destination and division. The new bus shelter will correct this flaw, improve the shelter and emphasize the fact that this place in merely a leg in a journey from one place to another.

    Here are also some images from the project:
    Concept illustrating bridge, Boylston & Newbury sides and motion across

    Site model from above w/ bus shelters on opposite sides of Mass Ave in center, with ticket booth and coffee stand behind shelter on the right.

    Site model w/ bus shelters in shelter] from west end of Newbury Street

    View of the tapered end of the shelter model from the street

    detail model showing tapered end of shelter with slanted etched glass wall and roof, with seating alcove and clear glass roof on the back. One of the other aspects I wanted to emphasize in this project was the difference between motion and place, which I did in part with the etched glass in the part of shelter where people would walk, referencing the blurred view of the world while in motion, and the clear glass ceiling, referencing the clarity of vision while at rest.

    Section through computer model of the site. This was my first VectorWorks model and one of my first attempts using Photoshop to add entourage to the models afterward.

    Computer model perspective looking at the non-tapered end of the shelter. In addition to the tapered end of the shelter, which is the end from which all the planes move forward to create a sense of motion, I used an abrupt, almost harsh end at the opposite end, which is the end of the shelter that is in the same direction as the travel of the bus servicing it. I thought this would be a good way of refrencing the difference between seeing a bus approach you and seeing a bus move away from or past you.

    Computer model perspective view from the east side of Boylston Street at Mass Ave. The folks in the foreground are my grandparents and my brother from an old photo. Just as I was finishing up this model, my grandfather passed away which was particularly hard since he was largely responsible for my early interest in building, which eventually led to my decision to pursue architecture.

    I'd love to hear what anyone thinks about this project. It's old, but I'm always looking for some constructive criticism to help me improve in the future. I'll post new old projects every week or so, as I said, with hopefully some more regular updates in between.

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