KGP design studio: bicycle transit center
KGP design studio: bicycle transit center KGP design studio: bicycle transit center
feb 02, 2011

KGP design studio: bicycle transit center

‘bicycle transit center’ by KGP design studio, washington, d.c images courtesy of KGP design studio

KGP design studio has seen completion of ‘union station bicycle transit center’, a proposal that was initially launched by the district of columbia’s department of transportation.

the facility which is located outside of washington’s union station is designed to be a highly visible catalyst in the promotion of bicycle use. the enclosure is strategically placed between two turn-of-the-century landmarks – union station and the post office – to meet the needs of thousands of tourists and commuters who pass through the transportation hub on a daily basis.

aerial night view

the 1,750 square foot mixed use facility is divided into two main programs that incorporate bike storage and services including bike rentals and repairs. in total the structure provides secure parking for 150 bicycles, non-secure parking for 40 bicycles, short term parking for 10 bicycles, changing rooms with 40 short and long term lockers, a 450 square foot retail space and 50 square feet of storage.

view from the street

offsetting the verticality of the train station is a gently rising ovular form that defines and delineates the buildings mass. sight lines flow over the structure so as not to intrude upon the beaux-arts aesthetic of the surrounding infrastructure. 

view from the plaza

echoing the simplified aesthetic and engineering of a bicycle wheel, the structure implements arched steel tubes that are supported by a series of ‘spokes’ or stainless steel tie rods. the ‘rim’ in pure compression, balanced and stabilized by the ‘spokes’ in pure tension, creates an efficient structure composed of glass and steel. spanning the length of the structure are longitudinal steel pipes. transverse tension members wrap them and carry the loads to the perimeter of the slab. inherently stable, the woven louvre-like facade provides an open and flexible space.

the structure contrasts the ‘arts beaux’ aesthetic of washington’s union station

transparent and partially open panels veil the structure, allowing cross ventilation to moderate the interior temperature when appropriate. during extreme weather conditions, the unit can be enclosed and heated or cooled mechanically.

further emphasizing the environmental advantages of the building is a rainwater collection system that uses a portion of run off water from the bike station as well as the plaza to water nearby plant beds.

bike storage interior

detail of structure

detail of structure and cladding

multimodal confluence diagram

site plan

floor plan / level 0

roof plan

west elevation

east elevation

cross section

cross section

south elevation

(from left to right) natural ventilation, cooling by mechanical ventilation, closed louvers for greenhouse effect and cladding effects

axial forces diagram

parking diagram

concept sketch of sectional view

initial concept sketches

  • So as not to intrude?

    Kim Phillips | says:
  • I imagine David Byrne will be pleased

    dbkii says:
  • For sure, it’s very fashionable, ingenious and it has a justifying concept. On the other hand it is also another steel monster that makes me shiver when I look at it.

    ivan says:
  • ah, a new calatrava….

    bittelaecheln says:
  • Certainly makes an in-your-face statement, but aren’t bicycles and trains compatible modes of low-carbon transportation? Instead, this handsome structure should be installed in front of all Senate and House office buildings, the White House, and the U.S. Capitol building, thereby confronting our elected officials and their staffs with the parallel universe of good environmental practices.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • It would be nice if bicycles were accomodated by WMATA during rush hour. Functionally, many people bike to stations like Greenbelt or Huntington, very very few bike to Union Station to begin their morning commute.

    You need to be able to bike commute to the periphery of the system, take the bike with you on the subway, transfer (carrying the bike while on the stairs or escalators,) get to your station, bike to work, store your bike securely at work, and then shower at work and change into work clothing.

    Someone explain to me how this approach works for a typical commute. Is it for the folks riding the MTA trains? Are they going to carry their dress clothes in a backpack?

    Love the idea though, in terms of symbol and support for sustainable lifestyles.

    Does anyone have a link to the published feasibility report, etc?

    Former DC Area Resident says:
  • ummm

    …decadent, excessive, total overkill.

    you kno it says:

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