Small Town, Big Bus Stops: International Architects Convene on Austrian Village for BUS:STOP Project

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Sou Fujimoto’s bus stop design (Courtesy kulturkrumbach)

A slew of internationally-renowned architects have convened on the unlikeliest of sites. Krumbach, Austria, a town of less than 3,000 may soon be the location of bus stops designed by Sou Fujimoto and Pritzer Prize Winner Wang Shu among others. The BUS:STOP initiative is the brainchild of kulturkrumbach which managed to entice the heralded names to participate in a bus stop design project with the promise of a free vacation and little else.

Ensamble Studio's contribution to the project (Courtesy kulturkrumbach)

Along with Fujimoto and Amateur Architecture Studio (Wang Shu’s architectural practice), Alexander Brodsky, Rintala Eggertsson ArchitectsArchitecten de Vylder Vinck TaillieuEnsamble Studio, and Smiljan Radic all made the journey to the eastern Austria meaning that 7 countries and 3 continents are represented in the project.

Upon visiting the town each architect designed a prospective bus stop and then presented their models in a separate ceremony. While each was envisioned in miniature, a full scale replica of Chilean architect Radic’s structure was manufactured and displayed at the exhibition. Each international designer will be accompanied by a local architect to aid in the realization of each project and foster cultural exchange.

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The 7 models on display, with Smiljan Radic’s 1:1 replica in the foreground (Courtesy kulturkrumbach)

By and large the proposals depart from the traditional bus stop form. While the designs seem to vary in plausibility, Fujimoto’s offering, featuring a spiral stairway to nowhere and entirely lacking a roof, seems particularly problematic.

In spite of its small size, Krumbach is no stranger to contemporary architecture. If they are to be implemented, the BUS:STOP creations will join a series of recently constructed noteworthy structures found in the area, including a sleek Bushaltestelle contributed by Austrian studio Hermann Kaufmann in 2011.

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