A Tiny Austrian Town Has the Coolest Bus Shelters We've Ever Seen


Adolf Bereuter

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 Institutesaid 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.

A map of bus stop locations in relation to each other (screenshot via Verein kultur krumbach
Sou Fujimoto — This design offers no protection against the weather, but instead a new way to interact with the natural surroundings. (Photo by Adolf Bereuter) 
Sou Fujimoto (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Wang Shu — The shelter’s “lens”-like opening focuses the gaze on faraway scenery.
 (Photo by Adolf Bereuter) 
Wang Shu (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Wang Shu (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Alexander Brodsky — This bus shelter, in the form of a wooden tower, lets through birds and a breeze. (Photo by Adolf Bereuter) 
Alexander Brodsky (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Smiljan Radic — this glass pavilion comes with a playful birdhouse. (Photo by Adolf Bereuter) 
 Smiljan Radic (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Ensamble Studio — a space that’s both protected and open, erected from the local technique of layering untreated wood planks. (Photo by Adolf Bereuter) 
Ensamble Studio (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu — a geometric abstraction of a triangular form, inspired by angled roads in the area. (Photo by Adolf Bereuter) 
Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Rintala Eggertsson Architects — This bus shelter doubles as a spectator stand for the tennis courts nearby.  (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Rintala Eggertsson Architects (Yuri Palmin/Facebook
Jenny Xie

Jenny Xie is a fellow at CityLab. 

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