Sonoran Shelters | Marana Civic Center
The Sonoran Shelters project was a commission to design, fabricate and install two regionally specific custom bus shelters that would comprise the transit center for the new Civic Center in the Town of Marana, Arizona. The project was delivered by the students, faculty and staff of School of Architecture at the University of Arizona.
The Town of Marana is positioned on the northern edge of the Tucson metropolitan area, which is the southern terminus in the megaregion known as the Arizona Sun Corridor. The Town of Marana, with a modest current population of 35,000, over the past two decades, has annexed great swaths of unincorporated land along interstate I-10 northbound to Phoenix.
Existing bus shelters designs adopted by the local transportation authority are designed exclusively about economy or vanity and universally fail to consider the comfort of the occupants in regard to the extreme environmental conditions of the region. The transit-dependent ridership is perceived as tolerant; but when queried they express a strong desire for solar mitigation and expansive roofs to offer better protection from the rain. Many riders claim to miss their bus because they seek shade behind nearby utility poles, trees and buildings rather than sun-drenched bus shelters. This project aspires to instill dignity in decentralized public transportation in a hot arid environment, initially at two locations for the current transit-dependent ridership, but also as a new regional paradigm that might appeal to choice-riders.
The shelters are designed to mitigate the extreme environmental conditions endemic to the region; seasonally high temperatures, intense sunlight and torrential downpours. They utilize a horizontal louver system calibrated to eliminate early morning and late afternoon solar exposure between the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. The louvers are configured in varied densities; wider and deeper to optimize seated and standing occupant vistas. The louvered enclosure systems minimize vertical surfaces typically prone to graffiti and facilitate a sense of security for the occupants as they eliminate concealed spaces. The two shelters were designed by a student/faculty team and were fabricated by students, staff and faculty. The east shelter encompasses the sidewalk, requiring pedestrians to walk through the shelter. The west shelter is compact and justified to the street edge.
ACADEMIC LEVEL(S)Pre-professional UndergraduateProfessional UndergraduateProfessional Graduate
SITE/ STRUCTURE DIMENSION536 square feet
2014 AIA Arizona | Distinguished Building Design Citation Award
2014 AIA Southern Arizona | Distinguished Building Design Citation Award