26. Taxi Stand 1980s
Intersection of Hazza Bin Zayed and Muroor Road
Bus Routes 011, 032, 034, 052, 054, 056
The Taxi Stand is easily identified as the scrawny younger brother of the adjoining Bus Terminal. Despite being colored in the same divisive turquoise, the two are, ultimately, very different structures housing very different systems. The Bus Terminal is ticketed; the Taxi Stand is not. The Bus Terminal has an information desk; the Taxi Stand relies on crowd-sourced information. The buses run promptly; the mini-vans leave when they are full. The buses are clearly marked with their destination; the mini-vans are all the same white, and destinations are signposted by men yelling from different parts of the Stand.
Like the Terminal, the Taxi Stand was painted in the 1990s in a rebranding initiative by the Department of Transport. While its original white was perhaps more emblematically modernist, the turquoise is both playful and iconic. Around noon on clear days, the image of sharp turquoise lines against the pale blue sky is majestic.
The Taxi Stand is mostly hidden away from the street, concealed on two sides by a large billboard, and on another by a line of trees. The space is entirely open air (with the exception of the two small rotunda-shaped buildings that sit off to the side). The space is enclosed in four separate islands, each hosting an identical structure. Like an opened drawbridge, the roofing of each structure slants upwards, leaving a small gap in between. The rigidity of the roof’s lines is complemented by the deep curves of its base. A tree stands between the two planks of the roofing, in the middle of each of the islands. Each tree is surrounded by a number of benches, and there are other benches facing one another. This is meant to be a social space.
Common color and design, and the small gaps between the buildings, give the four structures a sense of continuity and harmony. By the edge of the compound, facing the line of trees, are the two rotundas. One houses a restaurant, and the other an office.