NL Architects

A new bike club in China makes creative use of its roof.

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.

Courtesy: NL Architects
Courtesy: NL Architects

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a highway
    Transportation

    Americans Are Spending Billions on Bad Highway Expansions

    PIRG’s annual list of “highway boondoggles” includes nine transportation projects that will cost a total of $25 billion while driving up emissions.

  2. Transportation

    CityLab University: Induced Demand

    When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, new drivers quickly materialize to fill them. What gives? Here’s how “induced demand” works.

  3. Four young adults exercise in a dark, neon-lit gym.
    Life

    Luxury Gyms Invite You to Work Out, Hang Out, Or Just Work

    With their invite-only policies and coworking spaces, high-end urban gyms aspire to be fitness studio, social club, and office rolled into one.

  4. Rows of machinery with long blue tubes and pipes seen at a water desalination plant.
    Environment

    A Water-Stressed World Turns to Desalination

    Desalination is increasingly being used to provide drinking water around the globe. But it remains expensive and creates its own environmental problems.

  5. Design

    What Cities Can Do to Help Birds and Bees Survive

    Pollinators—the wildlife that shuffle pollen between flowers—are being decimated. But they may still thrive with enough help from urban humans.

×