The Bike Club With A Roof You Can Ride On
May 22, 2012
All images: NL Architects
Where the rooftop race track connoted a Futurist sensibility of speed and motion, cast in modernist clothes of reinforced concrete, Holland-based NL Architects‘ conceptual bike pavilion for southern China, with its cyclist-bearing pagoda roof, looks towards the rise and dissemination of Dutch bike culture. Designed as part of a large resort in Hainan province, the bike club consists of a intriguing formal mashup: a velodrome perched atop a glass cafe/pavilion. The idea came to the architects after they had introduced the wide-brim pagoda roof to the design, the product of much research into vernacular typologies meant to accommodate and withstand the vagaries of the region’s tropical climate.
Apart from the elegant and friendly curves of its “optimistic” profile, the roof proved “surprisingly functional” as a velodrome. Supported on a field of columns which frame the curtain-wall structure below, the roof, though a diminutive version of a typical regulation-size velodrome, is capable of holding party to a score of cyclists at once. This top house protrudes over the edge of the glass wall, casting shade over the ground floor bike rental outlet and cafe, with sunlight falling through the central voids framing the twin staircases that provide access to the bowl above.
Construction on the bike club is expected to conclude late this year.