A bicycle garage by the Central Station in Uppsala, Sweden, has become the beacon of this city’s sustainability ambitions. Combining practical functionality with a strong design concept, the architects have strived to make the area safer, while reenforcing Uppsala’s identity as a bicycle community and as Global Climate City of the Year.
To make sustainable travel easier for the thousands of daily commuters who pass through Uppsala Central Station, a new two-story bicycle garage has been developed right next to the platforms. Holding up to 1200 bicycles at once, its two floors are connected by a wooden bike ramp.The building has an exposed wood structure, clad in glass façades with black steel moulding.
Along with its triangular shape, this simplicity in structure and use of materials provide a strong sense of identity. Simultaneously, its glass façades mirror their surroundings, causing the large volume to seemingly disappear from view at certain angles. It also relates to the station building next door through the mirroring of its lantern roof and geometric expression, though with an inverted use of steel and glass.
The building faces contrasting spaces on all three sides: the platform, a viaduct and a bus station.
Its restrained materials have been carefully selected to provide a sense of lightness and simplicity, giving the building a distinct but uncomplicated expression that works within each context. Environmental and social sustainability have been cornerstones throughout the design process. Solar cells are placed on the sedum covered roof, which absorbs excess water from heavy downpour while also functioning as a fourth façade toward the many tall buildings that surround it.
The use of lighting design, created in collaboration with a lighting consultant, increases safety in the area both at night and during the dark winter months, while also emphasizing the building’s wood structure..