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Architekur im Alltag: Bus:Stop Krumbach, (c) Darko Todorovic
A collaborative international architecture project

BUS:STOP Krumbach

The municipal area of Krumbach in Bregenzerwald has been graced by seven specially designed bus stops since May of 2014. These structural gems, created to shelter passengers as they wait, were designed by renowned international architectural firms and were built in cooperation with local partner architects and craftsmen.

Architektur im Alltag: Bus:Stop Krumbach, (c) Darko Todorovic
Architektur im Alltag: Bus:Stop Krumbach, (c) Darko Todorovic
Architektur im Alltag: Bus:Stop Krumbach, (c) Darko Todorovic
Architekur im Alltag: Bus:Stop Krumbach, (c) Darko Todorovic
Architekur im Alltag: Bus:Stop Krumbach, (c) Darko Todorovic
Architektur im Alltag: Bus:Stop, (c) Darko Todorovic
Architektur im Alltag: Bus:Stop - (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Sou Fujimoto, (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Smilian Radic; (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Alexander Brodsky, (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Architecten de Vylder Vinck Taillieu, (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Ensamble Studio, (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Ensamble Studio, (c) Darko Todorovic

Bus stop by Amateur Architecture Studio, (c) Darko Todorovic

Trains and busses are an integral part of city life in Europe. Curiously, most people spend little time thinking about the significance of this vital means of public transportation, unless, of course, there is a strike or a break in service. An efficient network of busses in rural areas, however, is still cause for celebration, especially when the bus stops were designed by internationally renowned architectural firms.

Everyday Architecture

Krumbach in Bregenzerwald is a municipality of 1,000 inhabitants. In collaboration with local architects Hermann Kaufmann, Rene Bechter and Bernardo Bader in 2011, the municipality commissioned a new central bus station in the village centre, designed to add a bit of flair to local public transportation. Shortly afterwards, the municipality was faced with another decision: Whether to renovate or rebuild some of the ageing smaller bus stops. At the newly founded culture association, a new idea provided some inspiration. Why not try something new? Instead of looking just to local craftsman for answers, why not, for example, also seek ideas from internationally renowned architects?

A collaborative international architecture project

What followed was a professional collaboration for further development between the Vorarlberger Architektur Institut (vai) and Dietmar Steiner from the Architekturzentrum Wien (AZW). The two organizations helped to select and make contact with international architectural firms, which were both well suited for the project and willing to collaborate in such a special undertaking. As payment, participants would receive a holiday in Bregenzerwald. After all, the BUS:STOP Krumbach project was about more than just attracting the star architects from abroad, it was about the creation of foreign structures and new concepts in Krumbach. The cast was soon set: Alexander Brodsky (Russia), Rintala Eggertsson Architects (Norway), Architects de Vylder Vinck Taillieu (Belgium), Ensamble Studio Antón García-Abril (Spain), Smiljan Radic (Chile), Sou Fujimoto (Japan) and Wang Shu (China).

The power of collaboration

Following research trips by the architects as well as networking with local partner architects and craftsmen, 7 highly unique bus stops were created. To this day, the residents of Krumbach are still talking about them! Roughly 300 people helped to collaborate on this project including the international architects, the local partner architects, the regional craftsmen, numerous sponsors and local citizens themselves. “It was a truly communal project,” reflected Mayor Arnold Hirschbühl. The BUS:STOP Krumbach project visibly illustrates the architectural design and development of the municipality. It is the fruit of teamwork and the contribution of people from the region and from abroad. Best of all, the results are something we can all use on a daily basis.
Waiting at the bus stop was never so stimulating. The 7 extraordinary bus stops in Krumbach are places of personal reflection and interesting encounters amidst an impressive landscape. Guaranteed!

In 2014, the project received special recognition as part of the Austrian National Architecture Awards as well as the National Award for PR.

Individual Journey of Architectural Discovery:

More information about the development of this special architecture project is available from the Municipality Krumbach.