On Sunday, May 11, 2014, the new Union Station Bus Concourse will officially open in the heart of downtown Denver. This modern facility will serve as a multimodal transportation hub, offering bus, light rail, the Free MallRide, the new Free MetroRide, Amtrak, B-cycle, and future commuter rail. The new spacious, 22-gate underground bus concourse will replace Market Street Station (which will permanently close), and provide easy connections to downtown and beyond.
“The project’s signature elements, designed by SOM’s Roger Duffy, are a curvy white-fabric canopy that hovers over the train platform and a surprisingly cheerful 980-foot-long underground bus terminal, which opens on May 11. The bus station doubles as a pedestrian concourse that connects an existing light-rail station on the western edge of the 19.5-acre site to the train platform and the terminal. A framework of steel tubes, painted glossy white, supports the 500-foot-long canopy. The structure flares dramatically at the ends and has a long scooped-out section in the middle—a response, Duffy says, to a requirement that views of the historic station remain unobstructed. “One is skeletal and light, the other is heavy and robust. I think they’re very complementary,” he says. The opening, which Duffy calls the “sky hole,” also meant that he didn’t have to add an expensive ventilation system. Given Denver’s 300-plus days of sunshine, complete protection from the elements was deemed unnecessary. The adjacent bus terminal, with 22 bays, replaces a smaller station several blocks away”.