John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Best not think about the logistical issues of pedaling it.
Whenever I see somebody on a tricycle – whether it be a toddler gunning it on a Big Wheel or a leather-clad beardo cruising the highway on a Harley trike – my first instinct is to laugh.
But there's no giggling going on here with this super-tall tricycle that is teetering around Hanoi, because my mind is furiously working out the logistical challenges. First of all: Hanging electric wires. It's basically a pedal-powered Old Sparky waiting to go off. Next, how big are the legs of the guy propelling it? With the weight you can fit on seven platforms, they must look like anacondas straggling a pair of broomsticks. Also, will birds hit you in the face?
Perhaps it's best this strange contraption isn't intended as a commuter vehicle, but more of a roving space for the arts or business. The Swiss architecture firm that designs it, Bureau A, thinks it will make a great "seven-story mobile performance space and street kitchen," according to Dezeen, or maybe even an "ephemeral house," "mini-concert hall," or "poetry podium." Whatever disguise it takes, it will be connected with local cafe Ta đi Ôtô, so you know where to head if you want to practice your uneven-bars skills.
Check out this entertaining video: