Norris Design, NDLI, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, Project Promotion, Bus Stop, Transit, Design, Competition, Austin, Texas

Sara Partridge Wins Bus Stop Shelter Design Competition

April 10, 2015

From CapMetro,

Design Team Chosen to Lead Riverside Neighborhood Bus Shelter Placemaking Project

AUSTIN, Texas (April 9, 2015) — Capital Metro and the Austin chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced today that Austin designers Sara Partridge and Melissa Robledo have been chosen as the winners of the Bus Stop Shelter Design Competition.

AIA Austin’s designvoice committee, a group of volunteers who lead community outreach design projects, collaborated with Capital Metro to host the competition for local designers, architects and engineers.

The east Austin bus stop at 1717 S. Pleasant Valley near Riverside Drive will see an overhauled design to create an environmentally responsible rain garden and fully functional bus stop, which the designers have named, “Mi Jardin.” The stop (# 5799) was selected due to its high-utilization, with approximately 130 daily boardings.

“Austin is rich with arts and culture and we wanted to celebrate our community by creating a unique neighborhood space,” said Dan Dawson, Capital Metro vice president of marketing and communications. “We are excited to begin working with our winning design team, and look forward to picking up riders from this one-of-a-kind stop.”

The stop would offer protection from sun and rain using three shade structure cisterns, with a colorful design inspired by MetroRail’s Crestview Station. The shelter will utilize a harvesting system to collect rain water, irrigating native and adapted plants in the landscape. Enhanced lighting and bike racks will also be available.

“We envision a rider waiting for the bus, enjoying the ‘pocket park’ so much that as their bus approaches, they decide to get the next bus because they are so comfortable, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of nature in an urban environment,” said designer Melissa Robledo.

The stop was designed with placemaking in mind, which is a community-centered, multifaceted approach to creating public spaces that promote health and well-being.

“The bus stop meets rider’s basic needs by providing shade and shelter from the rain, but we have designed a space that also welcomes riders, cyclists, pedestrians and even the drivers in cars passing by,” said designer Sara Partridge.

The Bus Stop Shelter Design Competition began in September 2014 with a design charrette, attended by over 30 designers and architects. In addition, AIA Austin designvoice and Capital Metro surveyed over 100 riders and community members last summer to better gauge transit needs and feedback. Charrette finalists were given four weeks to develop designs and submit final presentations.

“AIA Austin designvoice enables the talent and voice of design professionals to serve areas of need in our community through collaborative design-focused events,” said AIA Austin designvoice Chair Beau Frail.

“The challenge for the design teams during the competition was to advocate for the community by including rider input throughout the design process, while making an exceptional and functional bus stop shelter,” he said.

Construction timeline and final costs have not yet been determined. Capital Metro will contribute $30,000 to the project, which is the cost of a typical bus shelter. The design team will be responsible for securing additional project funding.

For more information on Capital Metro, visit For details on AIA Austin designvoice, visit