“Colour was a key tool that was used to bring character to the shelter.”
This project was the final product of a year-long thesis study focusing on redesigning bus shelters, inspired by Forrest Gump’s quote “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” This metaphor talks to the surprises that arise in life and the design process aimed to recreate a figurative ‘opening of a box of chocolates’ throughout Auckland’s city centre. The recipe: small pops of fun in Auckland City with a splash of rainbow and a spoonful of character.
Throughout the design process of the thesis, a small 1:50 scale model was created every day with a different theme to introduce different characters to Auckland’s metropolis. The aim was to redefine bus shelters to become playful rest spaces for the public.
The 1:50 scale model of the Go Bananas shelter sparked the most joy among peers and online so it was redeveloped for the final project at 1:1 scale. The concept was to combine art with architecture to redefine the use of the space within a bus shelter and exhibit the possibilities within this small space. An important aspect of the project was to promote kindness and joy among people in the city – particularly among strangers – by providing a platform for simple kind actions to take place, just as Forrest shared chocolates with strangers.
Colour was a key tool that was used to bring character to the shelter. As the theme of this project stemmed from bananas the choice of yellow was really important. The chosen yellow had to make a statement, evoke happiness, be bright and bold without being ‘too much’ to look at, and it had to complement the form of the structure. After many swatches, Resene Lumbersider in Resene Half Turbo (sunshine yellow) was chosen as the perfect yellow for the banana fins. The neutral base was painted in Resene Black (lamp black) and Resene Quarter Rice Cake (greened neutral).
The seating for the shelter was painted Resene Lumbersider in Resene Sail (clear blue) as it complemented the yellow and the colour provided a calming atmosphere for strangers to sit with each other.
In the design process, an important precedent that influenced the colour choice and overall aesthetic was the Memphis Movement. The Memphis Movement is the epitome of how objects, colours and patterns can not only shape a space but bring a space to life. Each face of the tetris blocks was painted a different colour to create a sense of play and capture the public’s attention. The tetris blocks were painted in Resene Lumbersider in Resene Unicorn (soft violet}, Resene California (bold orange), Resene Half Turbo and Resene Sail with a white primer base to protect the blocks from water damage.
The combination of the colours chosen was exciting and simultaneously welcoming for strangers to gather in the space.
With sponsorship from Klein Architects, support from Scarbro Construction with assembly, CNC services from Unique Creative, and funding from Heart of the City, the final shelter was exhibited at two public events; Artweek Auckland and World Park(ing) Day.
Initially, the form of the Go Bananas shelter was going to be rectangular because prior to receiving additional support and sponsorship for this project, the shelter was going to be assembled solely by the designer. But thanks to additional support, bananas became an all-encompassing influence on the form.
Bus shelters are a common structure that the public encounter everyday while walking through the streets. The current bus shelters simply exist and do not evoke excitement on street level. Bold colours were key ingredients used to create this exciting structure inviting the public in.
The shelter was designed to be easily assembled and disassembled by being flat packable. Scarbro Construction offered their services and were able to quickly construct the shelter for each exhibit.
This project won the Resene Total Colour Bright Spot Award. The judges said “combining a delightful sense of humour with striking colour, this bright spot invites you to come closer to find out more. It’s quirky and fun, a delight to all ages. Who wouldn’t want to feel like what standing inside a banana would be like? In the age of digital, this project takes talkability to the street encouraging shareable moments. The perfect way to share colour.”
CNC services and consultant: Unique Creative
Designer and colour selection: Sharon Shin
Photographer: Edward Duncan and Sharon Shin
Sponsor: Klein Architects; Heart of the City
Sponsor and construction: Scarbro Construction
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