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The symmetrical relationships of the parts of the building and their orientation towards a central axis is being replaced by a new conception of equilibrium which transmutes this dead symmetry of similar parts into an asymmetrical but rhythmical balance. Walter Gropius. (Curtis, 1982, p. 127)
Externally the façades of Busáras are heavily influenced by Le Corbusier's work at the Maison Suisse and the Cité de Refuge in Paris, and by Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus in Dessau (1926). Gropius designed the Bauhaus as separate elements expressed as varied volumes linked by intermediary volumes, all of which are rectangular. At the Bauhaus these block were seen to be clearly separate volumes both from the air and the ground. Le Corbusier saw architecture as "the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light" (Le Corbusier, 1927, p. 29). At the Maison Suisse and the Cité de Refuge, Le Corbusier clearly differentiates his volumes using rectangular accommodation blocks and curved social areas. In their book The International Style (1932), Hitchcock and Johnson stated that separate and defined volumes should be constructed for each separate and defined function, and that the building should be composed so that the separation and definition should be plain to see.
At Busáras, the building has been divided up into four separate volumes: the two rectangular masses of the offices, the irregular bus station and the top floor pavilion. Unlike the Bauhaus where the volumes are all sited on the same horizontal plane and spread out over a large area. At Busáras the volumes overlap and support one another - the bus station emerging from beneath the two office blocks and appears to link them, and the top floor restaurant is sited on the large block. The asymmetry of the composition heightens the general interest in the building's appearance.
The similarities with the Maison Suisse are more apparent due to Cantwell's use of a 10 ft. design module. This module was used externally to dictate the position of the reinforced concrete fins between the glazing, the position and rhythm of the wave form canopy and the elevations of the pavilion storey. This would account for the obvious Corbusian influence of the design rather than the copying and adaptation of stylistic details, if it were not for Cantwell's candid acknowledgement of the influence of the Maison Suisse.
The most obvious similarity is the external form of the office blocks with Le Corbusier's accommodation block with its curtain walling, and stone veneered endwalls. The glazing pattern, when seen in elevation, is very similar although Le Corbusier introduced a small side light into his design to offset the effect of the sliding window creating a void in the façade. At Busáras the glass is all on the same plane, as opening windows are on a pivot. The sketch published in 1947 by Architectural Design shows a glazing pattern closer to that of the Maison Suisse with a small sidelight to the right of the opening light. Le Corbusier's horizontal concrete bands between the windows is echoed by Cantwell's bands of Thermolux which obscure the concrete floors.