Architect imagines a neighborhood and a whole new building type designed around bikes

When writing about a giant yellow bike ramp in a London office building, I remembered the work of Dr. Steven Fleming, an architect, professor, cyclist and consultant at Cycle Space. He went way beyond the ramp to the basement, and in fact designed entire buildings around continuous bicycle ramps. Here is an example he designed for Copenhagen, his Unite d’ Bicycle Nation, where he notes:

exterior copenhagen© Steven Fleming

Copenhagen brands itself as a "city of cyclists", but has no building stock to reflect this. The centre has buildings designed for an age when everyone walked and the suburbs have houses to drive to, while designers of redevelopment districts assume that people would rather take trains to the city. In other words, their bicycle planning stops at the curb.

Apartment interior© Steven Fleming

So Fleming designs buildings so that every apartment has access by bike up the spiral ramps, as well as interior secure parking.

Copenhagen below© Steven Fleming

Pedestrians and cars are separated, with walkways above and a lower level that is more like a BMX park, with a continuously protected route down the middle. It's very clever, in that the curved shape gets you up to speed by the time you merge into the moving traffic, a problem I had in Copenhagen recently where there were so many people in the bike lane than I had trouble getting in.

bike walkway© Steven Fleming

While on top there is lots of room for pedestrians.

aerial view© Steven Fleming

Fleming is quoted in Archinect:

My big vision is for urban districts developed on a bicycle mobility platform. What does that mean? Well consider: Venice was built around boating; Singapore has been built around transit and driving; LA has been built around driving, and the "bike city" of Groningen NL, was built around walking and horses. My work is in imagining new layers of cities, built by redeveloping brownfields and connecting them up, with unique forms, because they respond to the unique attributes of bicycle motion.

And indeed he does have grander visions, entire cities, which we will show in a subsequent post. More at Cycle-Space

Tags: Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Copenhagen

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