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. The Bregenzerwald region is using an apparently minor design task to make comparisons between different vocabularies and schools of thought, between east and west, north and south. As an area famous for its architecture the region wants to help shape the processes of international exchange.
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. What it also demonstrates is the multi-use of the structure. Imagine for instance a planted green roof with wild flowers allowing bees to pollinate or a nectar feeder to bring Tui into the Inner City? Further still, site specific stops as illustrated with Rintala Eggertsson Architects can serve multiple functions; value adding to the whole experience.
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 in May and all are now in use. Check out a map of the bus stop locations and some photos below.
For further information please visit the Krumbach Cultural website: