Green Bay Metro Transit
City of Green Bay
The Green Bay Transit Department was in need of additional space and the existing facility was split into separate administrative and passenger transfer locations. The bus storage area was well beyond capacity, requiring strategic aisle parking and maneuvering at the end of each day. The owner’s program called for the design of a new facility to serve as a bus storage and repair facility, dispatch and administrative, and passenger transfer; all under one roof.
The bus area needed to accommodate the indoor storage of 48-plus buses, six maintenance bays, bus wash and lifts, and the safe and efficient flow of the buses and people between all these elements.
The administrative portion called for various private offices with a commission room that would be open to public gathering during off-hours. The passenger transfer and waiting area required the safe and easy transfer of buses for the riding public. The Green Bay transit system is run on a very unique pulse system where all bus routes transfer at one transfer point, which serves as the hub for the entire service area. This results in periodic surges of bus and pedestrian traffic. Thus, the siting of the building and circulation were crucial to a successful operation.
The budget was at the forefront for this project. The owner required much more space than would normally be allowed within the limited budget.
The site was an abandoned seven-acre parcel within a transitional neighborhood of industrial and older residential properties. Located on a major artery into the downtown area, this site required a design that was sensitive to the residential context and created a new landmark for people entering the city from the north. The site itself provided challenges in terms of its depth and the necessary turning radii and circulation paths required by the buses.
The bus storage and maintenance areas total 85,000 square feet of the 98,500 square foot facility. This large expanse of building serves as the backdrop for the public and employee areas. The building’s massing reflects this function, while exterior pilasters and materials break down long runs of exterior wall into smaller scale segments. Daylighting and lightly colored interior finishes produce a bright and clean environment for the maintenance staff.
The administrative and passenger waiting areas create a lower mass at the facility’s public face with a sloping metal roof and oversized windows for a more human scale. The large commission room at the east end of the building is used for public gatherings and can be separated from other functions at night.
The exterior cladding of the building was chosen to relate to the building’s surroundings, and a play of alignments and materials creates a friendly character.
At the heart of the project stands a 300-foot long canopy with 14-foot vertical clearance for bus traffic and a width sufficient for protecting the passengers from sun and rain. The concrete island has a smooth saw-tooth form for buses to enter and exit without backing up. The access to this platform is centralized at one crosswalk, which minimizes all cross traffic between passengers and buses. It is this intricate steel structure that serves as a new landmark for the City of Green Bay.
The selective use of economical materials and building systems resulted in a successful project that met all owner needs, including budget.