The Belgian firm Architecten De Vylder Vinck Taillieu designed an angular shelter inspired by a Sol LeWitt painting.

Norwegian firm Rintala Eggertsson Architects designed a shelter near a tennis court that doubles as a spectator stand.

Sou Fujimoto’s bus stop is an open structure of steel rods with a staircase leading up to panoramic views of the village.

Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu’s Amateur Architecture Studio designed a bus stop inspired by a camera obscura that focuses views on the surrounding mountains.

Russian architect Alexander Brodsky’s design features a simple wooden tower.

Smiljan Radic aimed to recreate the intimacy of a home parlor with a small glass structure with wooden chairs and a birdhouse.

Ensamble Studio, from Spain, designed a bus stop of layered, untreated oak planks.

Co.Design

What Happens When You Let Top Architects Design Bus Stops

Krumbach, Austria, (pop. 1,000) commissioned world-renowned architects to redesign its rustic bus stops. Waiting for the bus has never been so glamorous.

Residents of the tiny Austrian village of Krumbach (population: 1,000) now get to wait for public transportation in style. Last year, the village’s cultural association reached out to acclaimed architecture firms to design unique bus stops that would be built by local craftsmen.

An international array of architects, including Pritzker Prize-winning Chinese architect Wang Shu and his partner Lu Wenyu, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, and Chile’s Smiljan Radic, fashioned elegant bus shelters for Krumbach. In exchange for the usual fee, the village offered the architects a vacation in the surrounding Bregenzerwald region, which boasts a rich architectural history.

© 2014 ADOLF BEREUTER

The seven new shelters, inaugurated this month, are a far cry from the drab awnings that most bus riders have to sit under. While some cities in the U.S., such as Santa Monica, are working to make waiting for the bus a more aesthetically pleasing experience, plenty of bus stops still look pretty gross. In Krumbach, waiting for the bus has been transformed into high art.

"This is a bus shelter, but not merely a bus shelter," Wang Shu said of his creation, which was inspired by the idea of a camera obscura, an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings. “The lens focuses on the scenery, the symmetrical, the static; sunlight illuminates the interior as gentle breezes filter through it; our gaze is guided to the mountains far away.”

Waiting for the bus has never been so glamorous.

[H/T: Dezeen]

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