The need for a place dedicated to bicycle enthusiasts was answered with an inspirational project in Hainan, China. Bicycle Club was designed by NL Architects and is an impressive cycling pavilion, meant to bring people together and encourage one of the greatest sports. Here is more on the project’s structure from the architects: “A rooftop cycling arena is supported by a glass-enclosed cafe at ground level. The oval-footprint structure’s protruding canopy is essential due to the tropical climate, shading the perimeter seating. The elegant upward curvature of the eaves evokes the form of the traditional and functional pagoda. Visitors set their bicycles within a recessed trough and easily walk up two staircases to the open-air velodrome. The area beneath by the stairs contains and conceals public restrooms“. Bicycles can also be rented from the pavilion, making cycling in Hainan the more accessible. Would you encourage this type of construction in your own city?
Energy during the construction process was saved by using FSC-certified glulam timber instead of steel to create the building’s distinctive wavy roof, while the store’s external walls use hemclad, a highly innovative insulator made from hemp, which, like all plants, absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. An 80,000 litre water tank below ground provides water for the store’s toilets and waters the site’s green wall’, which provides natural insulation, acts as an all-natural pollution filter near the car park, and helps to encourage biodiversity. The result is a building that uses a fraction of the energy of structures of a similar size, and is still very popular with local shoppers.
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.