Bicycle culture parallels architectural design. Built through a combination of material and structural understanding, bicycles emphasize human experience. From aesthetics to movement, these incredible machines mirror larger ideas on the built environment. Recently, cycling culture is experiencing a resurgence as designers reinvent how we can move through urban and rural environments. As a result, the architecture of bicycle culture is rapidly changing as demand grows.
From promoting healthier lifestyles and cleaner cities to more inclusive communities, the architecture of cycling is grounded in new ideas on connection, storage and access. Cycling transforms people and places, and in turn, new design projects not only come from places with mature cycling cultures, but also from less advanced developments that aim to prove what is possible. The following projects showcase some of the parallels between cycling and architecture and represent how cycling is shaping modern life.
The new bicycle shop in Scottsdale, Arizona is a temple to cycling. Responding to the context of the area, the orientation to the north and the view corridor along Marshall Way, the form of the new Bicycle Haüs conforms to the height restrictions while creating a fresh, new image along First Avenue. A simple wedge in form, the structure maximizes the volume along the street and reduces to a single-story volume toward the south.
DISSING+WEITLING are the architects behind the new cycle bridge ”The Bicycle Snake” in Copenhagen -a long orange bridge, which sets off at Havneholmen and continues in a meandering course along the shopping mall Fisketorvet. he Bicycle Snake meanders 6-7 meters above sea surface with a length of 200 meters and with 30 meters of ramp. The bridge is made of steel, which gives it a light and elegant look. The surface has a bright orange color, which creates a clear visual route for cyclists.
Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel Norway has set ambitious targets for environmental and sustainable future. An increasing number of railway stations will now have a bicycle hotel, to promote the use of bicycles. On Monday 10 October 2016 the Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel opened in the city that has been frequently voted Norway´s best cycling city. The project was designed by Various Architects AS in collaboration with the client ROM Eiendom AS and The Norwegian National Railways. The design of the building focuses on making a positive contribution to the surroundings to give back to the city.
This facility is a highly visible catalyst promoting bicycle use and alternative transportation options by providing secure parking, rental, and retail uses. At the doorstep of Washington’s major transportation hub, Union Station, the sleek veiled form reflects the technology of its contents while complimenting its eminent Beaux Art neighbors. Echoing a bicycle wheel’s elegance and efficiency, arched steel tubes are stabilized by a series of “spokes” or stainless steel tie rods in order to lighten up the structure. An energy efficient “skin” optimizes transparency while further moderating temperature.
The two new pedestrian and cycle bridges across Elliðaár estuary are an example of the present emphasis on sustainable transport in Iceland. Those who cycle or walk along the new route will experience new and interesting sights on Geirsnef, the peninsula between the two river streams. In the future the plan is to set up a rest area with a viewing point at the end of Geirsnef peninsula. Strong contrasts feature in the surroundings, the delicate ecosystem of the estuary of Elliðaár and the rough industrial area.
In Amsterdam, Vijfhoek, a new bicycle parking facility is being built in the most urban part of the Netherlands; on the Zuidas near station Amsterdam Zuid. The project involves the construction of an underground bicycle parking garage (3,500 bicycles) and a new layout for the park above. Octatube is responsible for the main entrance where cyclists can enter the parking facility by using a tapis roulant (moving walkway).
The site is located in Bellevue, Washington, on Bellevue Way between the Old Bellevue District and the Bellevue Square shopping center. Bellevue Way provides the only pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access to the site. The building was designed to be a pure neutral container that highlights the bicycle. It was conceived as an elevated steel box that is supported structurally and programmatically by a CMU perimeter zone. The small site and its limited access challenged the ability to have street level retail and parking, which led to the solution of lifting the primary retail spaces above the street level.
Cirkelbroen reflects the daily life and intimacy that you find around the canal in the Christianshavn neighborhood, its houseboats and sailing boats, the unique life on the ramparts. Copenhagen’s harbor was once a center of maritime activity, and Cirkelbroen is a testimony to that history. The bridge is made of five circular platforms, and it contributes to a larger circle that will form a pedestrian route around Copenhagen Harbor.