German architecture firm Despang Architekten designed these innovative shelters to protect street escalators leading down to metro stations in the German city of Bochum. The shelters are designed to be pleasing to the eye, but are also tough enough to withstand the impact of a large truck.
The shelter consists of a series of metal supports covered with glass sheets all constructed with a ribbed steel structure acting as the base. The glass sheets not only keep the escalators dry when it rains, but allow rainwater to cascade down the sides creating a pleasing waterfall-like effect, hence the project's name -- 'Urban Waterfalls'. This design marries functionality with a positive aesthetic.
While the use of glass on public structures makes them susceptible to vandalism, the glass sheets on these shelters are placed behind the steel ribs to minimize the extent to which they are exposed to vandals and mischief-makers. The exposed side of the glass panel can only be seen by people going up the escalator.