NL architects: bicycle club
NL architects: bicycle club NL architects: bicycle club
may 16, 2012

NL architects: bicycle club

‘bicycle club’ by NL architects, hainan, china all images courtesy of NL architects

‘bicycle club’ is a pavilion dedicated to bicycling in hainan, china designed by amsterdam-based NL 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. part of a resort club, guests may rent from the facility incorporated into the entry.

rooftop bicycle track appears to float above a glass-enclosed cafe at ground level

pavilion within context

approach to the pavilion

side view

aerial view

aerial view of rooftop bicycle track

floor plan / level 0

roof plan


  • This would be seriously loud underneath!

    jesse says:
  • @jesse
    its a bicycle track….not a nascar track

    common sense says:
  • should have provided a ramp for bics up

    [AM]+O says:
  • ^ that’s what the grooves in the stairs are for…the bikes.

    GS says:
  • what happens when it rains? obviously the track can’t be out of wood (unless heavily treated). all the rain water will collect to the center of the track, flowing down the stairs, flooding the cafe downstairs.

    wouldn’t a 2nd roof make sense?

    H says:
  • Smooth the surface – I will bring my skateboard! Fun.


    Jim C. says:
  • This would be great if it had a cafe underneath it – right now, the sides of the stairs would become dead zones.

    Ben Schiendelman says:
  • spectator seating?

    austin says:
  • ooooo I know!
    lets put a bike ring on the roof!!
    does it work?
    Who cares?! it’s good for the photos!


    conceptual and non functional says:
  • Don’t you think it would be safer to design a mini velodrome at
    ground level to avoid cyclists hurtling over the balustrades.
    The wooden track would destroyed by rain very quickly.

    Gavox says:
  • maybe have a first aid station at ground level…. or a morgue?

    Jan says:
  • Interesting idea!
    Btw, i dont think rain drainage would be a problem, it can be resolved by having a perimetre drain at both the rooftop and ground of the crtyard 🙂

    mr.T says:
  • it’s totally absurd.
    Despite the stupid idea of biking on a structure like that which might need some professional training, there was no proper planning of circulation, indoor and outdoor segregation, safety measurement for the viewers and the bikers…
    and yes drainage is absolutely a problem.

    Shane says:
  • very interesting design, actually..
    i like the idea of velodrome on the rooftop, it looks fun! and the shady cafe underneath would be a great place to rest for the cyclist after a few lap of cycling under the sun. 🙂

    PuritsuChan says:
  • a decent idea….fairly easy to build…but a nightmare to maintain

    dawn dy says:

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