Art & Photography / The Art of the Week

Bus Stops of the World

Neal Whittington of Present & Correct knows good things. In this, the first edition of his regular column celebrating exquisite oddities in design, he considers the heights reached by the humble bus stop

Bus Stops of the World
Bus Stops of the World

Of course there is no need for architectural excitement when waiting for the bus. Bus stops are bus stops, and four sided boxes are all very well. But wouldn't we all enjoy a bit of creativity? In Kazakhstan, commuters await their metal steeds in brutalist concrete monoliths, and in Estonia they shelter under a frame in the modernist style. Far more inspiring than the rain spattered utilitarian boxes of glass and plastic that squat on British pavements.

Here are three collections of quality waiting posts. Next stop: TFL.

In Estonia there are 1545 bus stops, all architecturally unique and spread over 13,000km. Many are wooden, and take on the character of a beach hut or a modernist A frame. They all have a cabin like quality and you can see some of them here and here

Contrary to what you would expect, Soviet Russia spent a lot of time creating unusual and outlandish bus stops. The themes and styles often reflected local culture with mosaics, sculpture and even novelty shapes like birds. This collection of photographs by Christopher Herwig is the product of a journey over more than 30,000 miles and 12 years. 

Ryann Ford has documented American road side rest stops. Predominantly these acted as a place for drivers to stop for a while, have a cup of tea, maybe a kip. Some also doubled up as bus stops, and almost all of them are structurally charming.