The under construction Kalpetta Bus Terminal in North Kerela is designed to take full advantage of the natural layout and location. The town with undulating planes itself is built around its natural geography and is one of the most favoured tourist destinations attracting large amount of tourists both national and international. Architect Deepak Illath Kandy of Bangalore based design firm Archons Architects shares the design features.
Kalpetta is the capital town of Wayanad district in Kerala. It is a panoramic hilly area and a fast growing town. It has a Municipality coming under the Local Self Government Department (LSGD) of Government of Kerala. To improve infrastructure and ease traffic congestion, it proposed a comprehensive development plan for the town including developing a self-contained new bus terminal cum commercial establishment at the existing 4.7 acres site in the heart of the town. The terminal will consist of all modern infrastructure facilities to serve the requirements of local population and influx of visitors.
Building a state-of-the-art bus station required substantial financial backup. The Municipal Council went ahead with the Public Private Participation (PPP) model and visited Kannur Bus Terminal which is the bench mark project of Kerala state developed through PPP mode and design by us. The design encourages improved integration of transport and land use that is essential to supporting the economic, social and environmental objectives of developing cities.
Bus stations and terminals are a significant element in the operation of bus services. Their design and location affect the efficiency of a transport system, and its impact on other road users. The new bus station was designed in such a way that the natural layout of the land was used to its full advantage and the picturesque views can be enjoyed from every corner. The terminal and the commercial blocks are well segregated and strategically located and are connected through covered path ways and bridges. This aspect of the design helps to avoid congestion, allows maximum use of natural sun light, unrestricted air flow movement and unobstructed view of the scenery outside.
The terminal building has a big porch that ensures protection from rain. Moreover, commuters can effectively make use of personal transport and auto rickshaw for easy approach to the terminal.
Kannur bus terminal is a well appreciated public project in Kerala. The layout is done in such a way that the traffic flow is smooth without any crossing, ample idle parking for buses and parking area for privet vehicle is provided and the terminal is segregated from the main commercial activity to ensure the natural air flow and light. There is also a split level waiting area from where passengers can get a clear view of arriving and departing buses. Commercial establishments at this complex includes a 4 star hotel, budget hotels, dormitory, restaurants, and varies kind of training centres and branded stores. Kalpetta bus terminal layout though based on the same model is very different from Kannur bus terminal because of the site conditions, dimensions and because of the approach road.
The large entry lobby area has a waiting area with well-marked signboards to get information on the bus routes. Information desk, police aid post and tourist information desk are also provided in the lobby area. The mezzanine floor substantially reduces overcrowding and acts as a lounge for the commuters waiting for long distance buses. Comfort stations are also provided both on ground and mezzanine floors. The terminal has 30 covered bus bays with high-roof to protect the commuters from the rain and sun and also to get the natural air flow. Other facilities in the terminal include, ticket booking counter, retiring rooms for crew, waiting area and announcing system, cloak room, tea stalls, food counter, souvenir shops, gift shops and internet centre. In addition, private security agencies and closed circuit TV will ensure adequate security of the terminal.
The self-contained commercial built-up area with mini shopping mall, food court, restaurant, hyper market, medical shops, dormitory, budget hotel rooms, luxury rooms and office spaces on either sides of the main terminal is connected with covered pathways and bridges. The design provides a seamless integration for all daily activities. Commuters need to use only buses for commuting to access all these facilities.
The materials chosen for construction will help minimize the usage of concrete and the special material used for the roof will ensure reduction in heat radiation. Hollow blocks have been used effectively to trap heat and provide natural heating. The colour scheme used also blends perfectly with the surrounding.
The approach is focussed towards improving PPP and designing spaces utilizing areas into something public, shared, and social. Ultimately, the aim is to strengthen local businesses that stimulate growth and development. Optimum use of public space creates a more integrated and socially healthier environment.