A newly-opened bike station by KGP Design Studio in the heart of Washington, DC has been likened to an eye, a bike spoke and even a bike helmet. The glass-enclosed station sits adjacent to Union Station, where it makes low-impact commuter travel a reality. The station offers storage, a changing room and bike support services in a stylish and very low-energy building. The entire design was developed to make the best use of daylight and natural cooling, encourage green transportation, and demonstrate the possibilities for green building.
The bike center’s radial glass vernacular stands in soft opposition to the neoclassical marble buildings that define the country’s Capital. The soft edges slip into the street, offering an oasis for those inclined to move by pedal. The center can house 150 bikes, and the storage units and changing rooms make the station a highly valuable asset to the area. Visitors can sign up for a memberships or pay for the day to lock their bike in one of the double-height bike racks.
Equally as valuable is the brilliant design, which is fully adapted to the location. Fritted ceramic double-pane low-E glass permits vision through the structure but reflects midday solar heat. The aesthetically unique window louvers offer a complex level of control, both manual and automatic, to maintain comfort. As the day warms, the automated glass louvers open at top to let air escape, and this cooling is supplemented by fans when needed. The building’s orientation allows morning light to warm the interior but it is shaded from the late afternoon sun. Even rainwater is reused in local planters. The station is an open structure for easy access but can close in inclement weather to maintain temperature.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Contributing to the downtown fabric, this full-service bike faclity makes bike commuting a viable option for more people. The highly adaptive and commuter-friendly facility is as inspiration for more cities to support bicycle commuters.