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Wait for it: White Light Visual Transforms Mattapan MBTA Bus Vestibules with Sasaki Architects of Wa

Like watching water boil, waiting on a bus can be a lonely and boring experience. When the City of Boston announced it's Public Space Invitational in 2016 - a civic design competition that challenged applicants to conceptualize projects that have the potential to reimagine and enhance our public spaces in Boston. The seven winning projects were selected for their creative use of public space that will have immediate impact, while upgrading the functionality of the public space. Sasaki Architects of Watertown, MA, one of the areas most proficient and dynamic firms, was selected to transform two Mattapan MBTA bus vestibules through their concept "Radiant Forest." Click here to learn more about Boston's Public Space Invitational and the other competition winners.

Their proposal reimagines Mattapan as a "dynamic and delightful work of art" by adding translucent colored screens beneath the glass panels that form the station's covering to evoke the sensation of standing underneath a canopy of trees. "With Radiant Forest, we intend to bring delight to a piece of public infrastructure that is otherwise rather drab," says team member and urban planner Chris Freda. "By capturing, coloring, and filtering light we hope to add a pleasant and unexpected moment to the lives of those who ride to and from Mattapan Station everyday—especially on those days that might be colder and grayer than any of us would like."

White Light produced 27 sections of high-resolution printed clear vinyl featuring an abstract leaf pattern simulating a rainforest canopy. These sections of vinyl were then applied to the inside of the vestibule glass to create the sense that patrons of the MBTA were waiting beneath a shroud of sun-dappled leaves while waiting for their bus to arrive.

The designs were developed by the Sasaki team of Chris Freda, Ryan Collier, Jhanea Williams and Anthony Lawson and is intended to transform the Mattapan bus station platform into a dynamic and delightful work of art that celebrates the shelter utility with an array of translucent-colored screens just beneath the glass panels that form the station's covering. The screens will be designed and printed to evoke the sensation of standing beneath a canopy of trees with green and yellow patterns filtering light. On a sunny day, passengers will be able to look up and see a collage of vibrant glowing leaf-like shapes illuminated from above and filtering light. The intended effect will both brighten and enliven the Mattapan Station waiting area and create a dynamic mural of light on the station throughout the day and across all four seasons.

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