Members of ACTIVATE Triangle invite you to create a new prototype bus shelter design for future city-wide implementation as part of the GoRaleigh system. The goals of the new design are:

• Expand the new GoRaleigh branding to bus stops and bus shelters.
• Elevate the experience for existing and new riders through improved safety, convenience, and comfort.
• Improve the image and aesthetics of the GoRaleigh system.
• Attract more choice riders and improve overall ridership.

The goal of this two stage competition is to select a design and a supplier of the new prototype shelter that could produce the new shelters and provide them to the GoRaleigh system for a fixed price over a pre-determined period of time. 

Designers are invited to explore and develop a new, exciting design for a bus shelter prototype within a $4,000.00 budget.

ACTIVATE Triangle is an outreach initiative of AIA North Carolina to strengthen the civic role of architecture and design in our community.



GoRaleigh and NCDOT have design standards and other requirements that can be found in this document:



Generate design proposals for the new bus shelter prototype. Up to three finalists will be selected per JUDGING CRITERIA by the JURY (see SECTION 2) to move on to Stage 2. Design Teams must contain at least one licensed Architect. 


Selected finalists from Stage 1 are required to team with a qualified contractor and/or fabricator and produce a full-scale prototype of their design that conforms with all of the standards and requirements given in the competition brief. The Design Teams would be required to demonstrate the technical and financial capability to provide a specified number of shelters to the GoRaleigh system for a specified time frame and be willing and eligible to enter into an agreement with the City to guarantee performance. Finalists will receive a $4,000.00 stipend to offset the costs of constructing the prototypes and the full-scale prototypes. The prototypes will remain the property of the City to use within the GoRaleigh system so they must be constructed with the level of quality such that they can be placed in service.


Design teams are encouraged to seek input from GoRaleigh bus riders who use the system on a regular basis, including input and comments on design solutions. Team members are also encouraged to ride the buses and experience the bus stops first hand. To help facilitate the outreach, we have worked with Cityzen to create a web-based platform created for the competition by which riders can provide their input on the shelter design to the design teams. Visit the following link for input from the public per schedule below:



online open-ended input                               July 18-29

online response to designs                            August 22-26


online promotion and prototype feedback    November 1-10



The new shelter design should project a positive image of the GoRaleigh system to the public and generate excitement about transit. It should incorporate and expand on the new branding theme that has been recently installed on the GoRaleigh buses. The design must also address user criteria such as shelter from the elements, visibility, comfort, and safety, and as such evidence of public outreach will be a selection criterion.


The designs, even if visionary, must be able to be built and installed in the GoRaleigh system in a practical manner. They must meet the performance standards of GoRaleigh and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.


GoRaleigh currently pays approximately $4,000 per structure for bus shelters (the cost of the structure alone). The goal of this competition is to create a cost-neutral option to the current standard design. Increases beyond the existing $4,000 cost should be explained with a narrative providing the added benefits.

Durability and Ease of Maintenance

The bus shelters must be able to withstand the rigors of daily use and exposure to the elements while maintaining an attractive appearance. GoRaleigh contracts the maintenance of its bus stops to a private service provider and the new shelters must be able to be easily maintained and cleaned with a pressure washer in order not to increase maintenance costs.



jury chair Michael Stevenson, FAIA . Perkins + Will . www.perkinswill.com

Prior to joining Perkins + Will’s North Carolina practice Michael was a design principal with KlingStubbins in Washington DC and Raleigh, NC and Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn in New York. He currently serves on the Raleigh Transit Authority and is an advocate for public transit in our region. His design work has won numerous awards and ranges in scale from single houses to entire city quarters. Michael is also an adjunct faculty at the School of Architecture at NCSU.

Tom Kundig, FAIA . Olson Kundig . www.olsonkundig.com

Tom is a principal and owner of the Seattle-based firm Olson Kundig. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, such as a 2008 National Design Award in Architecture and Design from the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, as well as dozens of State and National AIA awards. Tom is one of the best known architects in North America, known for extraordinary design details and operability of anything from a door to a 20 foot by 30 foot window wall.

Coleman Coker, RA . building studio . www.buildingstudio.net

Coleman is an architect and artist who founded buildingstudio, after a 13 year partnership with Samuel Mockbee as Mockbee/Coker Architects. He has received numerous honors for housing and houses. Much of his work has been exhibited in museums such as MoMA, Wexner Center for the Arts, and the National Building Museum. He is also the Ruth Carter Stevenson Regents Chair in the Art of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture.

Christian Karkow . NCSU College of Design

For several years, Christian worked alongside nationally known sculptor Thomas Sayre as a designer and fabricator of public art and was Studio Director at Clearscapes, an art and architecture firm in Raleigh, NC. He also teaches design studio at NCSU College of Design, as well as designs and builds furniture. Christian is one of the most talented and accomplished designers and fabricators in our region. His attention to detail and ingenuity is unparalleled.

David Eatman . City of Raleigh Transit Administrator since 2005 . www.raleighnc.gov

David is a graduate of ECU with a BS in Urban and Regional Planning. He began his transit career in 2002 as a transit apprentice for the NC Department of Transportation - Public Transportation Division and has remained in the transit industry for over 20 years. David has held a variety of transit positions in the public and private sector in North Carolina. He served as the President of the North Carolina Public Transportation Association from 2003 to 2006.



The competition is open to all AIA Triangle members and member firms. At least one licensed architect must be on the design team. Fabricators and other designers are allowable as team members. Stage 2 requires the Design Team collaborate with a qualified contractor and/or fabricator. Individuals or teams may submit more than one entry, but each entry will receive separate ID numbers and require an additional entry fee.


Up to three finalists will be selected after STAGE1 and will receive a $4,000.00 stipend to build their prototype during STAGE 2.


Announced June 17, 2016
Registration Opens July 01, 2016
Information Session July 21, 2016
Answers to Questions July 23, 2016
Registration Closes August 12, 2016
Submission Deadline August 15, 2016
Jury Deliberates September 01, 2016
Announcement of Winner September 08, 2016


Competition entrants may submit questions until July 20, 2016 to info@activatenc.org. Entrants may also attend the Information Session noted above. All questions submitted prior to July 20, 2016, or at the Information Session on July 21, 2016, will be answered at the Information Session and sent to all registered entrants no later than July 23, 2016, and posted to www.activatenc.org/2016busshelterprototypecompetition.


Prototype Construction begins September 15, 2016
Prototype Construction complete October 30, 2016
Event and exhibition to be determined


1. Registration
To register online, go to http://www.activatenc.org/2016busshelterprototypecompetition and complete the process. The registration fee is $50.00. Multiple entries will require a registration fee with each. You will need to give your project a title in this step. This title must be unique and anonymous. It must not contain any description of yourself or any firm or company information.

2. Application
Once you have registered and submitted your registration fee, you will be sent a link to complete the rest of the submission process online. 

3. Project Description
No more than 250 words. Contestants should read judging criteria, and use this written portion to portray how their design speaks to that.

4. Graphics
One 24”x36” board (landscape orientation) as low-res PDF. Title as [your project title]_Boards
Boards may include additional drawings and images as deemed necessary by entrant, but boards are required to include:
• Technical drawings
• One rendering
• Cost analysis
• Your project title

5. Physical Model (Optional)
There are no material restrictions. Participants may submit model photographs instead of a physical model, or physical models may be delivered or mailed to:

ACTIVATE Triangle: Competition
14 E Peace Street, 2nd floor
Raleigh, North Carolina 27604


Submit materials electronically to aiancawards.secure-platform.com by 5:00 PM EST on August 15, 2016.


  • All submissions must be anonymous.
  • Use of firm, individual, or company names or logos on competition material or incomplete submissions may result in disqualification.
  • Once the final submissions are uploaded, no additional edits, uploads, or changes can be made.



ACTIVATE Triangle reserves the right to retain ownership of all competition materials to use in exhibitions or publications without compensation to the entrants. Each competitor will retain full copyright unless state otherwise. No submissions will be returned.