The true aim of the project was not just to build a bus stop pavilion or to create an appropriate design for the site, but it was to show that people can actually affect the process of city development and that they actually have the voice in a joint decision-making process. Project Group 8 acted not only as architects but as social activists taking the initiative and working voluntarily.
From the very beginning the work started with forming a project team. On series of consistent participatory sessions, design games and open workshops with public transport users, passenger carriers, local experts, city managers and opinion leaders as well as neighborhood and active citizens were engaged in a joint process of discussion and decision-making. The whole process was open with a possibility for everyone to participate in. It lasted for several months until the final design was approved and the actual pavilion was installed.
Not only series of special occasions and online activity was organized. Also on the site itself the future bus stop was discussed with regular citizens in several weeks-lasting series of interviews and opinion polls. While conducting this research a prototype with temporary seats was made which was meant to be moved, so that people could also express their needs by action. The large-scale research included a study of the existing bus stops as well.
All the research conducted resulted in charting of a socially functional model. The main requests were as follows: a large non-transparent awning, many seats of various height, minimization of transparent and fragile surfaces. The new bus stop also needed to be safe, vandal-proof and well-protecting against rain, wind and sun. Wood was used as a basic material which was also suggested by citizens as a reminding of old wooden bus stops. The use of wood was an experiment as it's still not commonly used in Russia and in Vologda particularly even though it was a traditional material earlier.
The bus stop has quite unusual form due to the aspiration to save and organize the original pedestrian paths on a very little area while trying to enlarge the pavilion to fit the necessary number of people.
Having an extremely limited budget the decision was to cease the costs to the minimum while fulfilling all of the basic criteria, and the ways people using the object are exactly the ones programmed. As a bonus the navigation was taken into account and also lighting and a mirror ceiling was added, which became a real fun while waiting a bus to come, especially for children.