Smart shelter for hospital

THINKING DESIGN: Liam O’Brien and Ryan McClenaghan from MM Creative with their winning bus shelter design and Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown.Bus commuters outside Nepean Hospital will soon no longer need to take refuge from extreme heat in thenearby chemist after a designteam won a competition for a new bus shelter.
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Ryan McClenaghan and his team from MM Creative were named winners of a Penrith City Councilpublic design competition focusing on cool and “smart” bus shelters, which provide bettershelter from the elements.

Rather than simply designing a shelter from an office and taking it to the market, the MM Creative team spent days on site in Derby Street speaking to those who would use the shelter and asking them what they would like to see.

“The feedback we got from that was …in the summer it can get over 40 degrees out there,” Mr McClenaghan said. “The public told us they stand in the shaded areas of the chemist, and on hot days they stand inside the chemist to stay cool, it’s that hot.

“There’s potential problems there as people rush to catch the bus.”

The other problem –a major issue outside the region’s hospital –was the lack of accessibilty for people with limited mobility, he said.

“There was no space in the bus shelter underneath the shade for people in wheelchairs to sit,” Mr McClenaghan said. “There were seats but no one could back in a wheelchair if someone was sitting there.”

The new concept is a modular design giving council a choice between the number of seats and wheelchair spaces, as well as daylight-compatible LCD screens that can be used to sell advertising space to generate revenue.

As an area with a significant Indigenous population, laser cut panels featuring Aboriginal artwork will also be installed on the back of the seating. These can be removed and replaced with new designs as required.

Mayor Karen McKeown, who led the judging panel forthe Climate Adapted People Shelter (CAPS) competition, said she was pleased the Derby Street bus stop would get the smart shelter.

“It is a high use stop including many elderly and infirm: those most affected by the elements, especially heat,” she said.

“The project is cutting edge and we hope it can provide a blueprint for wider application across our region and Sydney.”

The finalists presented their concepts to a judging panel comprising Councillor McKeown and representatives from the Greater Sydney Commission, Samsung, Stockland and Macquarie University.

The project is supported through the NSW Building Resilience to Climate Change program, funded by the Office of Environment and Heritage and NSW Environmental Trust, and supported through Local Government NSW.

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