Barbur Transit Center

I found this interesting pic of the old Barbur Transit Station sign. Reminded me of the insane inhospitality of this station’s design, seemingly influenced by snow-shed architecture. Years ago, I lived in an area that made avoiding this TC all but impossible and consequently spent many hours contemplating the monsters who would design such a thing.

The Barbur Transit Center is currently the oldest transit center in the Trimet system having opened in 1977 and as you will see it is showing its age. The transit center is actually nothing but a glorified Park N’ Ride lot as the area around the transit center is very auto oriented and hostile to pedestrians and is not designed to blend into the community or the community to blend into the transit center.

On the one hand you have to admire the confrontational approach here. The whole thing is designed around ease of bus movement and parking lot capacity. Humans are but an inconsequential nuisance, yelding to the high drama of folded Cor-Ten steel and hard conrete.

In the 39 years since completion, TriMet has attemped to soften the original design with paint and signage. I think they may have actually replaced the roofing material, as I am pretty sure you can not paint Cor-Ten steel. I am a firm beleiver in commitment. If you have a bad design, don’t try to pretend its not, flaunt it. It is what it is! Here you see the result of brutalist design being watered down. Sad!

Chech out this blog for more pics and anaylsis on Barbur Transit Center. 


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