Jenny Xie is a fellow at CityLab.
Krumbach, a scenic Austrian town with a population of 1,000, came up with a clever idea last year to try to put itself on the tourism map.
Association kultur krumbach, the village's nascent cultural organization, approached seven international architects with an unusual proposition: design a bus stop for us and we'll give you a free vacation in Krumbach.
Every single one of them said "yes."
By summer 2013, all the designs had been submitted and construction began. The international architects — Sou Fujimoto (Japan), Wang Shu (China), Rintala Eggertsson Architects (Norway) , Ensamble Studio (Spain), Smiljan Radic (Chile), Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu (Belgium), and Alexander Brodsky (Russia) — collaborated with over 200 local designers and craftsmen to erect each distinct structure.
From Sou Fujimoto’s climbable forest of rods to Wang Shu’s camera lens-inspired project, these designs suggest that waiting for the bus can actually be kind of fun.
In a statement, Verena Konrad, Director of Austria's Vorarlberg Architecture Institute, said this initiative was also a "successful connection of infrastructure and mobility for the rural area.”
All seven completed bus stops were unveiled earlier this month and are now in use. Check out a map of the bus stop locations and some photos below.