Integrated Shade Seat (City of Tucson Bus Stops)

Integrated Shade Seat (City of Tucson Bus Stops)


Tucson, Arizona

In this desert environment, shade is the critical issue. The challenge was to design bus stops that could provide shade and comfort during the hot summer months. The Integrated Shade Seat provides shading throughout the day using both horizontal and vertical elements. These elements work in conjunction with one another to provide a variety of flexible opportunities for shelter from the desert sun. The design is modular, ready to adapt to diverse conditions, and lends a sense of security by providing individual seating. The modular design facilitates numerous configurations with the number of seats adjusted to specific site needs. Once seating is determined the sun path and shading is modeled by computer to analyze the best orientation of the seats for each site to provide shade at any given time during the day.

Prototypes were constructed and tested at full scale in attempts to find an appropriate material suitable for Tucson’s harsh desert climate, while providing strength, durability, and graffiti resistance. Research into high strength concrete led us to a new material technology – Ductal.  Working with Lafarge, Canada and CAST (Center for Architectural Structures and Technology at the University of Manitoba) a precast, Ductal prototype was successful in fulfilling the requirements. A polycarbonate rain panel and raised seat surface provide protection for users against the rain and heat, and working with Global Solar Corporation, locally produced photovoltaics are integrated into the design, powering self-contained 100,000 hour LED lighting.

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