Architecture

What happens when you ask international architects to redesign the bus stop?

What happens when you ask inte...
Sou Fujimito's bus stop design is perhaps the most abstract
Sou Fujimito's bus stop design is perhaps the most abstract
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The model submission from Sou Fujimito (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission from Sou Fujimito (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission of Smiljan Radic (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission of Smiljan Radic (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission of Rintala Eggertson (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission of Rintala Eggertson (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission of dvvt (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission of dvvt (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission of Ensamble Studio (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission of Ensamble Studio (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission of Alexander Brodsky (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission of Alexander Brodsky (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission of Wang Shu (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission of Wang Shu (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
Local association kultur kumbrach invited architects from Belgium, Chile, China, Japan, Norway, Russia and Spain for their thoughts on the humble bus stop (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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Local association kultur kumbrach invited architects from Belgium, Chile, China, Japan, Norway, Russia and Spain for their thoughts on the humble bus stop (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The model submission from Sou Fujimito (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The model submission from Sou Fujimito (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The local cultural association of the small Austrian market town of Krumbach has invited a range of international architects for their takes on the humble bus stop (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The local cultural association of the small Austrian market town of Krumbach has invited a range of international architects for their takes on the humble bus stop (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
Local association kultur kumbrach invited seven architectural practices to submit bold new takes on the humble bus stop (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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Local association kultur kumbrach invited seven architectural practices to submit bold new takes on the humble bus stop (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
All of the models on show (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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All of the models on show (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The design from Chilean architect Smiljan Radic has already been built (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The design from Chilean architect Smiljan Radic has already been built (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
Smiljan Radic with his bus stop design (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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Smiljan Radic with his bus stop design (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
A visualization of dvvt's design
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A visualization of dvvt's design
A visualization of Rintala Eggertsson's submission
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A visualization of Rintala Eggertsson's submission
A visualization of Smiljan Radic's design
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A visualization of Smiljan Radic's design
Sou Fujimito's bus stop design is perhaps the most abstract
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Sou Fujimito's bus stop design is perhaps the most abstract
Smiljan Radic's bus stop uses simple chairs instead of built-in benches (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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Smiljan Radic's bus stop uses simple chairs instead of built-in benches (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The final models on display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
The final models of display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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The final models of display at a recent event (Photo: Adolf Bereuter)
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Consult the English-language branch of Wikipedia as to the whats and whereabouts of Krumbach, and you will discover that it is a small Austrian market town nestled in a region of some archaeological interest, that it was beset by plague and cholera in the 16- and 1700s, and that its first fire station was founded in 1884 (disclaimer: citations needed). What you won't learn, though surely it is only now a matter of time, is that the town has been the focus of seven architectural practices who were invited to submit bold new takes on the humble bus stop.

Local association kultur kumbrach invited architects from Belgium, Chile, China, Japan, Norway, Russia and Spain, all of whom responded within four weeks, Der Spiegel reports. The resulting designs, curated by Austrian architect Dietmar Steiner under the banner Bus:Stop vary from practical shelters to avant-garde sculptures. One, a design nearer the useful end of the spectrum from Chilean architect Smiljan Radic, has been built already. His enclosed design is more like a minimalist take on a railway station waiting room, though with a birdhouse on the roof.

It's unclear whether the remaining designs, depicted in both visualizations and 1:7.5 models, will be built. Health and safety advisors may have something to say about the submission from Japan's Sou Fujimoto, which appears to comprise an exposed stairway to nowhere surrounded by a thicket of narrow vertical uprights.

The remaining submissions, from Belgium's dvvt, Russia's Alexander Brodsky, Spain's Ensamble Studio, Norway's Rintala Eggertsson, and China's Wang Shu, can be seen in the gallery.

Sources: kultur krumbach, Der Spiegel

18 comments
The Hoff
Forget the bus stops, what needs redesigning is traffic signals. Not how they look but how they work. They are so inefficient, waisting time and burning tons of fuel daily. A smartphone could run an app that controls it much better. The camera is aimed at the intersection and the traffic evaluated. The traffic signals could talk to each other to increase flow also. The system would cost far less then the archaic one they have now.Think about it next time your sitting at a light waiting for nothing.
Michael Good
I think Fujimoto's design is intended for double-decker buses. Or, roof maintenance.
Matt Fletcher
What do you get today when you invite international recognized architects to design something for you? Junk that's not worth the materials they were made from. There's no double decker bus there nor is there a ceiling or walls on the grassy looking thingy. The only 1 that shows any sense is the 1 with the 3 chairs but 3 chairs isn't very practical, unless that's the avg # of people waiting at the stop & they better be bolted to the floor.
Arathorn
Images 1,3,4,5,6,7,9,15,16,18 are all life threatening traffic hazards. Once these misguided things get put up the only way to get them taken down is after enough people are dead. There is something like image 1 in a town near me. All it does is block motorists vision and cause accidents. THINK FIRST! Don't propose dangerous ideas to politicians just so the designer can get paid by the tax payers.
Slowburn
@ The Hoff Traffic lights are not individually controlled they are set to make the whole system flow with maximum efficiency. Changing the timing of one light will throw the system out of balance causing bigger delays elsewhere costing more time, fuel, and money. But go ahead and rage because the system is not designed to maximize your convenience at everybody else's expense.
Geometeer
First question: will it keep the rain off waiting passengers? (FYI it rains quite a lot in Austria.) If not, it may be a bus stop, but it is not a bus _shelter_, which is the only reason to put up more than a simple sign. Wanna do sculpture? Do sculpture, great. But do it for its own sake, don't sneak it in on the public transport budget, as a structure not fit for purpose.
Tristan
I think they should have not asked Architects but Industrial Designers, who tend to be more practical while offering creative solutions. The solutions offered wheren't particularly elegant; but certainly would be expensive, yet with no safety features.
bergamot69
Utterly ridiculous- shows why you ought to leave bus stop design to industrial designers and not architects- at least industrial designers will understand the brief. Clearly the majority of architects have never taken a bus in their lives- you need to be able to see the bus coming in order to stop it in time (so solid opaque walls are out). And at the very least, a bus shelter needs to provide protection from the rain... I hope these idiots were not paid for their efforts. Ideally, they ought to be compelled to spend the winter doing nothing but travel on buses to various stops until they start to form some idea in their minds as to what is required of a bus shelter. As a bus user myself I think I could certainly come up with something more practical than the British 'Adshel' type shelter in use here, which tend to leak from various points on the roof, and so limit places you can actually stand under them without rainwater-diluted pigeon poo dripping on you.
Dave B13
A huge A to Z FAIL Architect - originaly meaning-> one who directs the work of others. Not competitors to see who could come up with the most capricious stupid expensive sculpture to clutter a road side. You got these obvious parameters. 1. shelter from sun 2. shelter from rain 3. buffer from strong wind. 4. no obstruction to approching traffic view (see the bus coming) 5. not a refuge for the homeless. 6. not a windblown trash catch. 6A. a trash bin easily maintained. 7. Places to sit down, but not lie down, maybe hang bags or packages. 8 display area for route information, bus numbers, schedules, advertising, transit information web page, or phone number posting. 9. provide good cell phone signal passively or actively 10 durable , vandal proof, low cost materials actractive in design, and inexpensive to assemble, low maintenance. 11. noise reducing, at least not noise reflecting.
Roger Dutton
Has anyone seen the bus hselters on the Isle Of Lewis and Harris? Amazing things that look like nuclear shelters! The Outer Hebrides build to last.