A better bus shelter

The mayor of Montreal, Gérald Tremblay – accompanied by the chairman of the board of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Michel Labrecque, and the executive committee member responsible for Culture, Heritage and the Status of Women, Helen Fotopulos – has unveiled the winning concept in the city bus shelter design competition, submitted by the consortium Leblanc + Turcotte + Spooner. The competition was for the design of a new bus shelter incorporating various elements, including an advertising poster frame, a bench and a solar-power system. The STM plans to have 400 new shelters built for installation all across its network, gradually replacing the current models and responding to new needs.

“Our administration is convinced of the structure-enhancing potential of design to improve citizens’ quality of life as well as their living environment,” Mayor Tremblay says. “At the Rendez-vous November 2007—Montréal, Cultural Metropolis, the city made a firm commitment to making such competitions a widespread practice, promoting innovation and excellence in architecture and design, and continuing to position Montreal as a UNESCO City of Design. This project is a concrete illustration of our willingness to ensure that Montreal’s designers play a paramount role in shaping our city’s future.

For his part, Labrecque says, “One of the objectives of the STM’s business plan is to be attuned to its customers’ wishes, whether they concern improvements to comfort, safety, cleanliness or accessibility of facilities. Upgrading our bus shelters is one way of achieving that objective. The mayor’s invitation to promote excellence in design and architecture found a sympathetic ear at the transit authority, and we have done our part in support of the challenge of developing a new generation of bus shelters.”

Says Fotopulos, “I would like to pay tribute to all of the competition finalists for the quality of their work. This has been an opportunity to see once more how Montréal is a leading hub for excellence in creativity, and particularly in design,” Ms. Fotopulos said.

Drawing inspiration from the STM’s newly minted brand signature, “Mouvement collectif,” the design proposal by Leblanc + Turcotte + Spooner offers a modular, scalable solution. Featuring a self-supporting structure, the concept enables the manufacturing of base models, with the possibility of joining several units together to create variable-size configurations that can accommodate larger or smaller numbers of users.

The design features a communications column, which could house various components, including dynamic digital displays and backlit advertising posters. An integrated solar-power system will ensure lighting of shelters that cannot be connected to the power grid.

The jury was especially impressed with the potential for integration and modular construction afforded by the winning team’s proposal. In a statement, jury co-chairs Denise Vaillancourt, executive director, Planning, Marketing and Communications, STM, and Gilles Saucier, architect and partner in the firm Saucier + Perrotte, noted, “This preliminary design offers a comprehensive array of solutions to the complex problems with which the competing designers were presented. The concept incorporates current technologies, and meets the STM’s comfort and safety requirements.”