Images credit Nunc Architects
In some countries, cyclists are seen as more than rule-breaking freeloaders who slow down cars; they are seen as a viable part of the transportation system that needs its own infrastructure investment. For instance, parking can be a problem in a country like the Netherlands where so many people cycle. In Zaandam, just outside of Amsterdam, Nunc Architects have completed a 700 bike parking building that probably makes every cyclist in North America green with envy.
I love the stairway with the trough in the middle. The architects write in Contemporist:
The Fietsenpakhuis is designed as a public space, inviting all cyclists to enter.
A huge folding door that opens completely gives access to a double-height open space with a gently inclined staircase leading to the upper floor. The street facade is transparent showing off the main function of its existence, the stored bicycles. The ground floor is paved with bricks, visually connecting the outer street with the interior.
The glass panels in the street facade are stacked in overlap referring to the wooden claddings as seen on regional barns and houses since the 17th century. The transparency of the facades as well as the roof lights allows daylight to enter. On ground level a big window reveals the workshop of the mechanics. They control the free entrance of the parking, and handle the other functions; public toilets, bike repair, renting out bikes and lockers.
The Fietsenpakhuis is sustainable in many ways. Fewer people travel by car. Materials are locally found, the wood used on structure and roof is certified. The building is using passive solar heating and is naturally ventilated. Electricity is generated by using solar panels on the rooftops providing almost all energy needs, keeping the ecological footprint of the building to a minimum.
With infrastructure like this, who wouldn't want to ride a bike? More images at Contemporist
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