DAVE MCGINN, The Globe and Mail: Few people may have ever heard of Krumbach before, or be able to tell you a single thing about the tiny village in western Austria. But this month it’s garnering international attention for a project that has given its 1,000 inhabitants unique bragging rights – they’ve got the best bus shelters in the world.
Last year, the Kulturverein Krumbach, a local cultural group, invited seven architects from around the world to design and help build bus shelters for the area. None of the architects would be paid, although they would get a one-week holiday in the village. All of them said yes. Keep in mind, this is a group of world-renowned architects such as Japan’s Sou Fujimoto, Chile’s Smiljan Radic and Pritzker Prize-winners Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu.
Few if any of their creations will be recognizable as bus shelters, but that’s the point. Replacing all the former shelters in the village with these structures and their sculptural adventurousness will help not only rethink what’s possible when it comes to public buildings, but also attract tourists. The bus shelters were unveiled earlier this month and are now in use.