Hit or Miss: Bus shelter is built of glulam wood to act like a tree

© Public Architecture + Communications via A|N Blog

We're called TreeHugger for a reason, and get seriously excited about innovative uses of wood, especially with cross-laminated and glue-lam timber design. At the University of British Columbia, Public Architecture and Communications have designed bus shelters that are made out of glulam, sort of. According to the Architects Newspaper,

The main point of entry to the campus, University Boulevard is lined with trees—except where the bus shelters would go. “There was this language of gaps that we noticed,” said Public’s Christopher Sklar. The shelters themselves, they decided, should fill in the tree line. The designers were left with a question, articulated by Sklar: “How does it be a quiet piece but also something interesting and unusual that relates to its surroundings?”

So they designed "an abstracted version of a street tree, a canopy of tessellated irregular polygons balances atop slim steel posts." Then they covered the whole thing with a big bronzed glass box. The architect notes:

“When you’re approaching the shelter you see it in front of you, you can’t see through the bronze-tinted thing,” said Sklar. “Then when you get under it, it reveals itself to you. As you approach, it reflects its surroundings from all sides; then you get underneath and: ‘oh wow, look at that.’”

I wonder. I do love wood, but it doesn't seem to be doing anything here, the glass and the steel frame is doing the work of the canopy and the wood is essentially decorative. That's a lotta lumber to make people go "Oh Wow." What do you think?

Hit or Miss: Bus shelter is built of glulam wood to act like a tree
Public Architecture + Communications uses laminated wood to fill in the gaps where trees would have been.

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