Under the T(h)ree
The city of Offenbach approached us with a request to design a bus stop at a prominent location that would stand out from other urban stops – we readily accepted. Our vision was to create a bus stop as a poetic gesture in the urban space, catering to the location, passersby, and waiting passengers alike. Instead of a conventional bus stop shelter with a fixed view of the road, we chose a design that harmoniously blends into the urban setting at Offenbach’s high street. Replacing the old, worn orange tent-like structure, we designed a sculpture in the public space that seamlessly integrates into the new plaza-like pedestrian area, linking the Frankfurter Straße shopping mile to the Offenbach Marktplatz.
Our concept was based on an open and non-directed form that would open up the seating area under the roof in all directions, inviting people to linger in the urban space. The three-part leafy canopy develops organically from the adjacent plane trees, harmoniously extending the edge to the bus lane without visually dividing the space. The roof consists of simple trapezoidal sheets covered with extensive greenery, while the trunk forms a robust steel structure. The bench, made of galvanized steel with a solid wooden surface blends seamlessly into the vibrant center of the Offenbach Market Square.
As a central hub of the city, the bus stop not only serves a functional purpose but also enriches urban life as a meeting point for people of all ages. The planning of the bus stop includes zoning it into an inner and an outer spatial area, allowing the benches to be used from both sides. The outer zone serves as a waiting area for passengers along the roadside and also provides pedestrians with seating as a new meeting point.
The visual effect of the bus stop unfolds both during the day and at night. Through indirect lighting, we create various moods and establish an inviting atmosphere, making the bus stop an attractive site at any time of the day.
When designing the bus stop, we placed particular emphasis on its integration into the Offenbach Market Square as a central meeting point in the city center. The integration of public transportation infrastructure facilities was a very important aspect for us. We wanted to ensure that passengers not only receive shelter from the weather but also benefit from optimal connectivity and functionality.
Offenbach am Main
Jürgen Scholte-Wassink – Structural System