Reuse: Buses Reinvented

A Blank Canvas.

What is it about buses that inspire people to reinvent them and turn them into something new? Perhaps it’s their size and scale, providing an open canvas that can be re-architected into something new. Perhaps it’s that they are on four wheels, that mobility giving them added functionality. Perhaps it is the cultural iconography of buses—the school bus that we fondly associate with childhood; the VW bus that we identify with carefree, California living; the Partridge Family bus that had both strong visual identity and functionality.

It’s not uncommon to find buses that have been reinvented for a new life and use. Here are a few examples:

  • In Honolulu, the city is converting buses that were being taken out of circulation into spaces that can serve the growing homeless population in the city. The buses will provide showers and beds to start, with the hope that other services can be added in the future. It’s a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to meet the needs of the city and its citizens.
  • Winkelman Architecture, an architecture firm in Maine, revitalized a Chevrolet Viking Short Bus, as featured on Uncrate. The firm took a beat up bus and turned it into a sophisticated living space on wheels. Check it out here.
  • The Photo Wagen, a VW bus spotted in Brooklyn, New York, is now a touring instant photo booth used for events and such. Find them here.

The Industry Forecast: Help me re-use to make the most effective use of available resources.



Winkelman, “1959 Chevrolet Viking Short Bus,” Uncrate.

Peters, Adele. “These Old City Buses Have A New Purpose: Mobile Homeless Shelters,” Fast Company, June 18, 2015.

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